North Yorkshire county councillors have voted in favour of a £1.4bn incinerator that will burn hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rubbish every year.
The controversial scheme at Allerton Quarry near Knaresborough was approved in the face of huge opposition at a county council meeting earlier.
It is claimed it will save 90% of the county's waste from going to landfill.
The plant has already been backed by York council and will now be subject to planning procedure.
Opponents say incineration is bad for the environment and has health risks.
Speaking at the council meeting in Northallerton, protestor Peter Topham said: "We have inherited a fabulous environment. Please councillors don't ruin it because you will be held to account by your constituents."
Another campaigner said: "It's wrong on the grounds of economics. It's wrong on the grounds of pollution and it's a legacy we don't want to leave for our children."
Forty nine councillors voted in favour of the incinerator and 19 against.
Conservative councillor Claire Wood, who voted in favour, said: "It's a decision that will allow us to control waste over the next 25 years.
"Waste is something that has been rolling towards us. There are never-ending difficulties not only principally because of the cost but because of the environmental issues."
AmeyCespa has been named as the bidder to build and manage the waste facility.