ILLEGAL cigarettes confiscated in Oxfordshire are being used to generate electricity.

Tobacco taken by Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards team will be sent to a site near Bicester, to create electricity.

Viridor’s Ardley Energy Recovery Facility will receive 75,000 illegal cigarettes, with an estimated street value of £18,000, and nearly 100kg of tobacco, all of which has been seized by trading standards.

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Neil Fawcett, the county council’s cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “The trade in illegal tobacco brings crime into our communities.

“That’s why it is so important to clamp down on it. Sending confiscated tobacco to energy recovery is a win-win, permanently destroying it, diverting from landfill, and generating power for homes and businesses.”

Viridor’s Ardley site generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 59,616 homes.

Since trading standards began an illegal tobacco clampdown in October 2017, more than 800,000 cigarettes, 50kg of hand rolling tobacco and more than 115kg of waterpipe tobacco have been confiscated.

These will be disposed of following the completion of the legal process.

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