The site at Willesdon Junction has one of the capital's densest concentrations of railways and access to the Grand Union Canal. The plans by Powerday PLC are backed by British Waterways London and English Welsh & Scottish Railway Ltd.
Phase one could be up and running next year. When phase two is complete, the centre will be capable of processing 1.6 million tonnes of waste a year, recycling 88 per cent of materials.
Peter Gerstrom, chairman of the waste management board at the Institution of Civil Engineers, said: "It's great that a London borough has got its head around this kind of activity."