Shanks Group has started work on a £20m household waste recycling plant at Hespin Wood, north Carlisle.
To mark the start of the project, which is aimed at reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites, local councillors from Cumbria County Council attended a sod-cutting ceremony held yesterday.
The plant will use a disposal system known as mechanical biological treatment. It will process around 75,000 tonnes of waste each year, recycling much of it.
The waste processing agreement between Shanks Group and Cumbria County Council is believed to be worth over £700m across 25 years.
The Hespin Wood plant will dry waste for a fortnight and then process it, filtering what can be used as fuel and what can be used for road building.
The drying hall will be 150 metres long, 15 metres high, and up to 50 metres wide. There will also be a separate storage building, measuring 40 metres and 25 metres.
The Shanks Group said the Hespin Wood plant will act as a major part in helping the Cumbria region to divert 67% of its household waste from landfill by 2015.