Thick, dark smoke was seen pouring out the DH Griffin recycling facility off Hilltop Road in Greensboro.
The fire involved salvaged household appliances, but it was unclear what sparked the blaze.
Authorities had to block off several roads near the area as fire crews worked to get the blaze under control. Officials say the fire has been contained.
More than 1500 people who live near the facility have been told to stay indoors if they have respiratory problems.