The fire happened in a household waste skip at the Weldon site in Kettering Road at around 11.55 yesterday.
Two fire crews attended the blaze and Northants Fire said two hose reels and one thermal imaging camera was used.
A police spokesman said the fire was thought to be accidental and the skip contained household waste, clothing, and bedding.
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Richard Sherwood was at the recycling centre at the time and said he was evacuated along with five other members of the public.
Mr Sherwood took photos and video of the blaze, which he said produced a lot of smelly smoke.
He said he could still smell smoke in his car hours after the incident.