The planting of a pear tree marked the start of construction on the county council’s £275 million incinerator today (Thursday).
The ceremony in Calvert was boycotted by several north Bucks parishes unhappy at the building of the incinerator.
Developer FCC Environment will start work on the £275 million contract later this month and it should be completed by spring 2016.
The plant will annually convert 300,000 tonnes of waste which is unsuitable for recycling into enough energy to power up to 36,000 homes.
Bucks County Council says it will save more than £150 million in the life of the contract when compared to landfilling the waste.
A new access road will link the A41 with the site to take waste lorries away from local villages.
The plant will create 300 construction jobs during the building process and 60 permanent jobs once it is open.
A Pyrus Communis ‘Conference’ Pear tree was planted at the ceremony by county council chairman Carl Etholen, cabinet member Lesley Clarke and FCC environment project development director Richard Bellfield.
It is the first in an orchard being planted by the Energy for Waste project developer, FCC Environment, to complement the setting of Lower Greatmoor Farm, a grade 2 listed building, next door to the site of the plant.
It will be joined by a full range of fruit trees, including apple, plum, pear, walnut and quince, together with a mixed berry hedgerow - all specified in the Ecological Management Plan for the EfW project.
In a statement Quainton Parish Council, supported by other North Bucks parishes including Winslow, The Claydons, North Marston, Marsh Gibbon and Stewkley said that ‘as they fought hard against the development it would be hypocrisy for them to attend’. They compared the project to HS2, the controversial proposed train line which the county council is firmly against.
Mrs Clarke, cabinet member for environment, said: “Today marks a significant moment in what has been a long and rigorous process and I would like to thank all those involved for their hard work.
“I’m very excited to see the construction process begin, and we’ll continue to work to allay any concerns there may still be in the local community.
“This facility is not only going to save our council taxpayers money, but it is also going to have great environmental benefits.”
Paul Taylor, chief executive of FCC Environment, said: “The start of this project underscores FCC Environment’s capability to provide important public services to local authorities – services that are efficient, of high quality and that are cost effective.
“Together with our principal contractors, we are looking forward to getting down to work with the County Council to deliver a sustainable waste treatment facility that the people of Buckinghamshire will value and be proud of.”
The council says the 30 year contract will result in environmental benefits such as low carbon energy generation, which would be the equivalent to making the County Council carbon-neutral for 60 years.
Buckinghamshire’s aim is to increase the amount of waste being recycled or composted from its current level of 45% to 60% by 2025.