It will generate power for around 40,000 homes and transform the landscape in South Staffordshire.
And these pictures give a glimpse of how the giant incinerator is taking shape in Four Ashes.
The £122 million structure on Station Road will burn waste that cannot be recycled from Staffordshire, Walsall, Sandwell and Worcestershire.
Rubbish will be transported to the site and burnt in a process that produces steam, which drives turbines for electricity.
Contractors revealed trucks will be weighed before tipping the waste into a giant bunker, big enough to hold 400 double-decker
buses, and cranes strong enough to hold five tonnes of weight will deposit it into a grate before it is incinerated.
The incinerator development caused controversy when the plans were first announced and the Green Party attacked the scheme, claiming it could cost up to £1 billion in its 30-year life.
But, as these pictures show, the development is ploughing forward.
Facility manager Scott Francis will look after the site once it is up and running. He said: “The bits of waste that cannot be recycled will be brought here and tipped into a large bunker by two cranes, which will be manned by workers in the control room who will drop them into a shoot.
“The control room will be looked after 24-hours-a-day and CCTV footage will enable us to see everything that is going on in the plant at one time. Once the waste is tipped down the chute, it will be burnt inside a boiler.
“On a warm dry day, people will not see anything coming out of the stack but on a cold day they might see a white plume of smoke.
“I am keen to let people know that it isn’t in fact smoke but water vapour.”
All of the pipework inside of the plant has been insulated to keep heat in and grates will be used to suck in the air so that no odours are released outside as the waste is being burnt.
In the event of a fire, a sprinkler tank has been installed which will release water immediately and precautions have been put in place so that if a fire does start, a button can be pressed which will act to put out any fire instantly.
At its peak around 300 people, most of them local, have been working on the construction, which is expected to be fully operational in December, although wastewill begin to arrive at the plant from November 5. Work on the development started in June 2011 as part of the council’s plans to deliver savings of up to £250 million over the next 25 years.
But it initially sparked complaints from residents, despite easing pressure on landfill sites. The Green Party also attacked the plans to build the incinerator, stating it is expected to cost up to £1 billion during its 30 year life. In 2011 it was revealed that just 18 per cent of Staffordshire’s waste will be sent to the site, leaving space for 250,000 more tons of refuse every year.
And the county council could face a penalty. Taxpayers will have to pay if the county is ‘fined’ by operator Veolia for being unable to fill the 300,000-ton yearly capacity. The development is already transforming the landscape and skyline, despite being months from opening.
But it has come in for criticism from some. MP Gavin Williamson said: “This development is an obscene monstrosity. Many residents see it as a blot on the landscape.
“I am not in favour of incineration and I do not think it is good for the environment. I think the only positive is that the owners have been working with residents to cause as little inconvenience as possible which is welcome.”