A PROJECT to turn waste into energy has been given the green light.

Worcestershire County Council has approved funding proposals for a planned Energy from Waste facility (EfW) in Hartlebury.

At a meeting at County Hall on Thursday, January 16, councillors voted 42 to 11 in favour of approving the funding arrangements for the scheme.

EnviRecover, which will be built on Hartlebury Trading Estate, will have capacity to divert 200,000 tonnes of waste from landfill sites each year. Planning consent for the plant was given by the Secretary of State in July 2012. Construction is expected to start this year and it is planned to be fully operational in 2017.

Councillor Anthony Blagg, Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member for environment, said: "The decision to approve the funding for the Energy from Waste facility is very welcome.

"The point has been made many times before, but I would stress that sitting back and doing nothing is simply not an option. These key decisions taken by cabinet and full council have not been taken lightly. Years of work has gone into addressing this issue and not pursuing this option, which is a proven piece of technology identified as the best solution after considering a number of alternatives, would cost the residents of Worcestershire and Herefordshire £128million as things stand today.

The EfW facility will be handed over to Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council as an asset when the current Waste Management Services Contract ends in 2023. The EfW has an expected operational life until 2042.

The proposed EfW plant is expected to create an additional 250 jobs during construction and 45 when operational.