An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for the incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin, despite opposition from the Minister for the Environment John Gormley, local politicians and residents.
The Bord has given the green light to Dublin City Council for the plant to have a capacity of 600,000 tonnes, even though its own inspector recommended allowing only 500,000.
Permission was granted subject to 13 conditions, one of which stipulates that most deliveries of waste should be via the M50 and the Dublin Port Tunnel.
Dublin City Council aims to recycle nearly 60% of Dublin's waste, but argues that it will be obliged to incinerate another 25% of waste.
The council contends that thermal treatment is better than landfill because the plant would not just burn rubbish, but would provide electricity for up to 50,000 homes and district heating for up to 60,000 more.
A statement issued by the Sandymount and Merrion Residents' Association said the decision ignored EU Directives in regard to environmental policy and the international importance of Dublin Bay and the Poolbeg lands for Conservation and Special Protection.
Mr Gormley has argued that incineration is no longer a key national policy and that it is over capacity.
Yet in an RTÉ News interview, Chairman of An Bord Pleanála John O'Connor said it was current legislation, rather than comments from any minister, which would guide decision making.