Metro Vancouver has approved a plan to deal with the region's trash, and a controversial proposal for a new incinerator is still on the table.

The region's board voted Friday to approve a plan that sets goals for diverting waste from trash bins, more recycling options and more opportunities for waste-to-energy creation.

A new incinerator is still a possibility for the region -- the region wants to convert as much as 500,000 tonnes more trash into energy each year.

Although there are other methods for converting garbage into trash, a report from the region's waste committee says that so far, the other technologies haven't been proven on a large scale.

The committee has recommended that a mass incinerator be built within Metro Vancouver, although some mayors have argued that it should be constructed outside of the region.

Board chair Lois Jackson said on Friday that Environment Minister Barry Penner will have the final say on the region's solid waste plan, including waste-to-energy options.

"Everything is going to the minister, and as I mentioned earlier, was looking at, and his quote was, ‘a basket of options.' So it could be almost anything," Jackson said.

The plan for a new incinerator has raised concerns from some environmentalists and community members, who worry about air quality.

Ben West of the Wilderness Committee said he's hopeful that Penner will reject the idea of an incinerator.

"Really what we're hoping is that the minister of the environment is going to make the decision that the directors here failed to make themselves. Clearly, people have concerns about waste incineration, whether it be in Metro Vancouver or on Vancouver Island," he said.

The Vancouver Island town of Gold River is lobbying to host an incinerator to deal with Metro Vancouver's trash, in the hope it would provide an economic boost to a community struggling after its lumber mill closed 12 years ago.

Currently, the Burnaby waste-to-energy plant burns about 20 per cent of the region's garbage.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Maria Weisgarber