ENERGY from human waste is a potential part of Muswellbrook's future waste treatment system.
It all depends on a multimillion-dollar grant from the state government.
A report to a full Muswellbrook Shire Council meeting on Monday night said a brief had been prepared for further investigation by consultants.
The council has asked the consultants to research technology that can be used to turn waste into energy, including the use of solid wastes.
The council report said use of waste-to-energy systems could create business opportunities with neighbouring councils and other waste generators, including agricultural producers as well as attract additional financial support from state and federal government.
It acknowledged these new systems were expensive and said the council could only use them if the technology could produce commercially viable results.
The council's decision to proceed relies on a $9.6 million grant from the state government.
The grant was needed to help pay for the overall upgrade of Muswellbrook's treatment system, scheduled for completion in 2015-2016 if the money is received.
The grant is also necessary to reduce the need to increase ratepayer waste charges.