"Unprecedented" levels of recycling generated over the holidays has led to delays in Hawke's Bay's kerbside collection.

Napier City and Hastings District councils said, together, there had been a 15 per cent increase on the volume of recycling compared with the same time last year.

Green Sky Waste driver Wiremu Lee Richmond took to Facebook to personally apologise to residents for the delay.

He said they were doing the "best" they can.

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"Due to Christmas New Years, we have been flat out working hard trying to catch up, but unfortunately due to the hot heat, large quantity of recycling, short staff and trucks breaking down, we are behind in our runs so aroha mai for any inconveniences."

Speaking to Hawke's Bay Today, Richmond said he had been working "long 12-hour days" and completed 60 hours last week, as well as working on Saturday.

A HDC spokeswoman said while the Hawke's Bay economy is booming, one of the consequences this holiday season was increased consumption - and the leftover packaging and waste this generates.

Although contractors had been working extended hours over the past two weeks, the councils' contractors were still two days behind in the kerbside collection across both cities, she said.

They aim to make "significant progress" by the end of this week into early next week.

"The hot temperatures have made it even more challenging, with workers trying to operate more in the earlier and later hours to avoid being exposed to the heat in the middle of the day," the spokeswoman said.

She said the councils understand this is "frustrating" for residents and ask them to continue to leave their recycling at kerbside for collection.

"To help out the contractors, residents are asked to ensure their recycling is made secure, to recycle correctly and to flatten cardboard and squash plastic bottles and tin cans for the most efficient use of space."

Along with the extra material at kerbside, the recycling centres are still struggling with capacity, and councils' waste teams continue to work hard to manage the volume.

These sites are monitored with CCTV cameras to ensure there is no irresponsible dumping to make matters worse.

Wairoa District Council were in a similar position, noting that there was "always" an increase in recycling around this time of the year from holiday areas.

"We have put on additional services, including a temporary recycling site and additional bin emptying. We have also extended weekend opening hours for our landfill and recycling centre in Wairoa."