Moray Council has agreed to help fund a mammoth waste plant in the north-east, despite concerns over the cost of transporting tonnes of rubbish to Aberdeen.
Elected members yesterday opted to plough £70,000 into preparatory works relating to the site.
The authority has joined with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils to drive forward the creation of the £200million facility.
Members debated whether to embark on the costly project, calling into question the annual expenses to ferry waste to the Granite City.
Stephen Cooper, head of direct services at Moray Council, said: “The responsibility for delivering the waste will be with the individual authorities.
“Annually that will amount to something in the region of £200,000 for Moray Council.”
However, councillors emerged convinced that the proposal was the best way for Moray Council to deal with its refuse over the coming years.
The move to create the advanced complex in Aberdeen comes following a government act banning local authorities from dumping organic waste in landfill sites from 2020.
Council leader Stewart Cree said: “After the ban comes into effect the only other way we can deal with organic waste is through thermal treatment.
“If we don’t build a giant facility for the three authorities then we will each have to find an alternative facility, which could be in Scotland, the UK or on the continent.
“This option gives us security for at least 25 years.”
If the scheme proceeds according to current financial projections, Moray Council will be expected to pledge £25million towards construction, with Aberdeen paying £68million and Aberdeenshire £86million.
The council also agreed to appoint independent member John Cowe and SNP representative Graham Leadbitter to help steer the plans over the next few years, with an additional third councillor yet to be decided.