W&S, the waste management company for six of the Oxford County Councils Household Recycling Centres, has just announced sponsorship for the community-led Refill Oxford scheme to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles at source. Part of the national Refill scheme started by Bristol-based City to Sea, Refill Oxford promotes and encourages the use of free tap water with the aim of reducing the 7.7bn plastic bottles bought in the UK each year.
W&S is an established waste management company who work in partnership with Oxford County Council to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. As well as working with Oxford County Council W&S also manage 11 Household Waste Recycling Centres in Dorset. W&S are a dynamic company offering a variety of services. These range from skip hire, house clearances, scrap metal, waste transfer stations and specialist demolition projects. Re-use and recycling play a major part of the business with many unwanted items getting a new lease of life in their community shop and auction house (Cottees), based in Poole, Dorset.
Thanks to an enthusiastic and committed team of local volunteers, Refill Oxford has over 100 cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs and even hairdressers signed up to the scheme. With a comprehensive network of Refill stations all over the city people can now refill their water bottles for free rather than buying a new one. Participating businesses display a round, blue-branded Refill sticker in their window and all the Refill stations are marked on a map. Those who live, work or visit Oxford can download the Refill app to their phone to find out where they all are and access free water. It is a simple idea: Refill Oxford links people who want water to taps, so reducing plastic waste.
With an influx of 8 million tourists per year, an inflow of 30,000 workers per day and more than 40,000 students, the scheme could have a huge impact on plastic waste in Oxford. The funding from W&S will support Refill Oxford to do a public launch early next year and to run a public awareness campaign to raise the profile of the scheme locally.
Rachel Taylor of W&S says: "W&S are delighted to be part of this community project and hope this will contribute to the reduction of plastic waste in the Oxfordshire area and beyond. We are very excited to be able to play our part in this superb initiative"
Georgina Matthews, project manager for Refill Oxford says: “It is fantastic to have the support of W&S for this project. We have built a network of Refill stations in Oxford with a group of fantastic volunteers but now the challenge is to get people to use the scheme. The W&S funding will help us do just that and hopefully make refilling your water bottle the new normal.”
James Watt, Refill says: “We’re so excited that Oxford is part of the growing Refill movement and making a real difference by reducing reliance on single-use plastics. Every time we refill a re-usable bottle we save our own money and the planet’s resources, and all those individual refills add up to a huge impact.”
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