London's mayor is to challenge the government's decision to give the go-ahead for what is thought to be Europe's largest incinerator.
Most of the waste will be transported by barge
Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said the plant in Belvedere, south-east London, would help tackle waste in the city.
But environmentalists claims it is a step in the wrong direction when viewed against the problems of climate change.
Mayor Ken Livingstone is working with Bexley Council in the hope of securing a judicial review of the decision.
"The decision to give the green light to an incinerator at Bexley undermines our battle against climate change and is not in the best interests of London as a whole," he said.
"Once you build an incinerator you have it for 30 years. Thousands of tonnes of London's rubbish, which could be recycled or turned into renewable gas will instead be burnt.
"Unless the government reviews its position, London will be surrounded by a ring of fire, as boroughs opt only for burning over recycling and new energy from waste technologies."
Jenny Bates, from Friends of the Earth, said: "The government is supposed to be promoting recycling and waste prevention but they have just allowed the biggest incinerator in Europe to be built in London."
Ian Clement, the leader of Bexley Council, where the 72 megawatt capacity plant will be built, said it was "the wrong proposal in the wrong place".
But Mr Wicks defended the decision saying it would be fuelled by waste which would have been sent to landfill sites in the Home Counties.
The waste would primarily be transported by barge along the River Thames, he added.