Shore Energy has permission to build a pyrolysis plant next to the A8 at Carnbroe and Shawhead, Lanarkshire.
North Lanarkshire Council refused the plan but Scottish Government Reporters said it should be granted, to the dismay of the campaigners.
They brought more than 2000 Christmas cards from children in the area to the Scottish Parliament as a petition against the proposals.
Pyrolysis processes waste as an alternative to landfill and produces gas which can be used as fuel. Opponents claim it is incineration by another name and fear health risks are attached to the process.
Maggie Proctor, lead campaigner with Monklands Residents Against Pyrolysis Plant, said: "The First Minister and local government minister Derek MacKay have refused to meet us to discuss the issue.
"We are protesting to protect the health of our children by stopping this incinerator. These are the voices of ordinary working people, voters. It is time they were listened to.
"We want the Scottish Government to call the decision in. They can still do it."
Elaine Smith, Labour MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, backs the campaign and has written to the Govern-ment asking it to overturn the plant go-ahead.
She said: "North Lanarkshire Council have appealed the decision.
"I do not want the pyrolysis plant to be built at the old Shanks and McEwan site so close to residential areas, the residents do not want it and North Lanarkshire Council does not want it.
"It is undemocratic that the building of this plant goes ahead when so many local people have spoken out against it."
In a letter to Ms Smith, local government and planning minister Derek Mackay said the government was unlikely to intervene.
He said: "Although Scottish Ministers do have powers to revoke permissions these are very rarely used."