OXFORDSHIRE construction and recycling firm The Sheehan Group has celebrated saving 500,000 tonnes of waste from UK landfill sites.

The landmark achievement comes thanks to its multi-million pound investment in an advanced recycling plant in 2012.

Located at Stanton Harcourt, near Oxford, the water treatment facility is used to wash construction and demolition waste – destined for landfill – turning it into reusable aggregate.

It is the only advanced recycling plant of its kind in the county.

The Sheehan Group uses about half of the material in its own construction projects and sells the rest to contractors.

Managing director, Chris Sheehan, said: "The introduction of the waste recycling plant was a significant investment, as part of our sustainability strategy, and we're delighted to have reached such a milestone.

"Sustainability and ethically-sound operations are crucial in the construction industry and as a company we are committed to leading the field in producing recycled materials.

"We have found more and more local firms are coming to us as part of a 'Considerate Constructors Scheme' to purchase recycled aggregate."

Mr Sheehan said the firm's recycling achievement could be even greater in future if it is granted permission to increase a current conditional recycling cap of 100,000 tonnes per year to 175,000 tonnes.

Oxfordshire County Council is due to make a decision on the application later this month.

Mr Sheehan added: "It makes logical sense to utilise the capacity of the equipment, enabling us to save even more waste from going into landfill, and to protect the long-term production of aggregate in a more environmentally-friendly way than via quarries."

The Sheehan Group was formed more than 40 years ago by John Sheehan, Chris's father.

He started by hiring out machinery and the firm has grown into a multi-million pound business employing more than 70 staff.

Chris runs the firm with his brothers Richard and Michael and daughter Tara, who is the finance director.

The family-run business specialises in construction and civil engineering, focusing on major work at some of the county's finest country mansions and university buildings.

This includes the construction of prestigious buildings and significant basement conversions.

It has worked on projects at locations such as Tusmore House, near Bicester, The Queen's College in Oxford and the Said Business School.

The Sheehan Group also rents of machinery and skips and sells aggregate in bulk.

Tara Sheehan said: "We place a great emphasis on sustainability, client service and expertise.

"All of our staff are highly trained and passionate about what we do.

"The construction industry is fast moving and always developing, as technology improves.

"We always strive to be at the forefront of advancements that enable us to be as efficient and sustainable as possible.

"The biggest growth area for us is basement builds.

"They are complex projects requiring specialist expertise and care, which we have.

"Being able to excavate and then clean the waste and re-use it in concrete or in-fill, via one company means we can help deliver efficiency savings to clients."

"We are proud of our heritage as an Oxfordshire family business and of our commitment not just to the here and now but also to the future."