The authority hopes to have a high-tech site operational in the south east of the county by 2010 as it tries to hit a statutory target of 45% by that year.
Environment Minister Elliot Morley approved funding of Northumberlands 28-year private finance initiative last week.
The sixth largest county in Britain currently recycles just 10% of its municipal waste and is delighted to be able to invest in new facilities.
A spokesman said: We have possible sites earmarked near Ashington and Blythe.
Having this new site gives us confidence we will achieve our hugely ambitious target of recycling more than half of household waste.