BUILDING work on Oxfordshire’s first incinerator has reached a milestone.

This month 300 construction workers at the site reached a million man hours working on the £100m project — the equivalent to 114 years.

The controversial burner in Ardley, near Bicester, is expected to open next summer and will be able to take up to 300,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year.

To mark the construction milestone the firm has pledged £10,000 for local charities and organisations – £1,000 for each 100,000 work hours completed at the plant.

Chesterton Primary School, in Chesterton, near Bicester, will be one of the first to get a financial boost.

Headteacher Victoria Woods said: “We are planning to use the money towards the provision of more outdoor resources and activities for the children.

“It is great to see local companies supporting the work local schools and other organisations are doing.”

Ian McAulay, Viridor’s chief executive, said: “With so many activities taking place concurrently on site, reaching this one million hours milestone is a great achievement and testimony to the care and commitment employees and site managers put into every hour of construction work.

“I would like to congratulate everyone on site and at the same time encourage them to continue working safely to take us toward our next safety achievement.”

Once open, the incinerator will create 24 megawatts of electricity from waste — enough to power the facility and over 38,000 homes.