THIS image shows Worcestershire's massive £120 million incinerator firing up for action - with a dramatic plume of condensation pouring into the air.

Council chiefs say the Hartlebury plant "remains on schedule" for an opening next spring, with the huge facility now dominating the skyline.

This picture, taken by a Worcester News reader, shows the 75-metre high white chimney exhaust stack ahead of next year.

The power of the rubbish burning facility, which will raze 200,000 tonnes of waste a year, is reflected in the monstrous size of the development, which can be seen miles from the village.

The Conservative leadership at County Hall has reiterated its commitment to getting the facility ready on time, saying it will "make a major contribution" to renewable energy.

The plant, known as Envirecover, will generate electricity to connect to the National Grid, effectively powering up 20,000 households.

Cllr Anthony Blagg, cabinet member for the environment, said: "Work on the £120 million EnviRecover energy from waste plant remains on schedule for completion in the spring of 2017.

"Once the state-of-the-art plant is fully operational, it will divert around 200,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill sites and save residents in Worcestershire and Herefordshire more than £160 million in landfill taxes over its lifetime.

"Not only will EnviRecover significantly reduce both councils' reliance on landfill, which has already more than halved since 1998, it will also make a major contribution to regional renewable energy generation."

Once open it will be operated by a firm called Mercia Waste Management until at least 2023 under a contract, taking in waste from properties in both Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

The cost of building the plant overall was £165 million, once funding from Herefordshire Council was factored in to the bill.

Last year we revealed how the public cost to dealing with waste in Worcestershire between now and 2042 will be £1.6 billion with the plant in place.

But experts put that bill at £2.1 billion if EnviRecover did not go ahead, which led to it getting cross-party political support despite a concerted campaign from villagers to block it.