Central Hawke's Bay District Council's transfer stations and recycling drop-off centres are in a "completely unacceptable" condition, the council's chief executive says.
Monique Davidson says the council is "not happy" with the current state of services over the peak summer season and has agreed to an improvement plan with its contractor, with results expected in the coming weeks.
"The condition of them [transfer stations] is completely unacceptable, and I am as disappointed about the situation as the community," Davidson said.
"The Council is working proactively with our contractor, Smart Environmental, to implement an improvement plan which will better the service and experience provided to our communities.
"Improvements are all within the current contract terms and allowed for within the contract deliverables we have in place with Smart Environmental," she said.
"Therefore, the improvements will not impact CHBDC ratepayers financially."
She said the recycling environment was "rapidly changing".
"I don't highlight this to defend the situation, but to highlight the various factors that have contributed to the situation we find ourselves in."
The improvement plan includes further staff and fleet deployed by Smart Environmental during the course of the initial clean-up, which has already seen e-waste contained at the sites for recycling and steel squashed into bales for removal.
Transfer station pits will be emptied and open top bins will be in place to contain refuse.
"We unreservedly apologise to the community and Council for the reduced levels of service over peak-period," said Benjamin Day, acting chief operating officer at Smart Environmental.
"The customer experience over this period was unacceptable and not what we expect or deliver for our clients up and down New Zealand.
"Smart is committed to rectifying the issues and we are investing heavily in more people, infrastructure, fleet and technology to make sure we improve our services as fast as possible".
Davidson said there was an emphasis on the sustainability of the improvements.
"We expect over the next week to see a marked improvement in the condition of the transfer stations, and our recycling drop off centres."
The pit of the Waipukurau transfer station was damaged in a fire on January 3 and was under a council-led investigation. The cause of the fire was deemed as "inconclusive".
Davidson said the fire was "unrelated" to the council's concerns with the condition of the stations.
Central Hawke's Bay's Waste Management and Minimisation Plan through to 2025 was adopted by Council in September 2019.
It proposes a vision for a "Waste Free CHB" which aims to increase diversion of waste from landfill from 32 per cent to 70 per cent by 2040, increase diversion from landfill from 32 per cent to 48 per cent by 2025; and increase participation in kerbside recycling services from 40 per cent to 60 per cent.