An artist's impression shows how an on-site recycling facility in South Tyneside could look.
Architects have produced an image of the planned new building, which would be used to store and sort materials collected from blue recycling bins across the borough, before being transported onward for processing.
Currently, blue bin material is taken to Gateshead for sorting and decontamination. The new facility, which would be capable of storing 10 days' worth of collected waste, would remove the need for this.
The new transfer station would allow 20,000 tonnes of material to be sorted on-site, saving 140,000 litres of fuel and cutting vehicle emissions by 400 tonnes per year. It would also improve quality and reduce contamination before onward processing.
South Tyneside Council is currently seeking planning permission for the facility, which would be located at Middlefields in South Shields. If permission is granted, work is expected to get underway later this year.
Cllr Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "It's great to see designs for this new facility, which would help us reduce costs and fulfil waste, recycling and environmental commitments.
"Already, less than one per cent of South Tyneside's waste is sent to landfill - a reduction from 66 per cent in 2010 - but the new local sorting facility would allow us to further reduce our impact on the environment.
"As a council, we have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and initiatives such as this can help us ensure we fulfil that commitment.
"In addition, the roof space of the new building would be used for solar panels, generating around 80,000 kW of electricity annually. Around 470,000 litres of recycled rain water per year would be harvested from roof water and used as a sustainable water supply for council roadsweeper vehicles."
The building would be on two levels, with the upper floor used for processing and storing materials and the lower level providing access to a loading bay for HGVs.
The facility would save an estimated £275,000 in running costs, as well as reducing fines incurred because of contamination.
Hall Construction Services Ltd was appointed earlier this year to design and build the new facility.
Cllr Atkinson said: ""Delivering our materials would no longer require a journey to Gateshead and back which would reduce the impact on the environment with fewer vehicle emissions. The new build would also offer much better value for money.
"We continue to deliver innovative energy solutions and increased use of renewable technologies to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions."