The state of the Hawea recycling station is “absolutely appalling at the moment”, and it may be closed if it continues to be misused, Hawea Community Board chairman Paul Cunningham says.
Photos and comments have been circulating on social media about the recycling station, which appears to be overflowing with cardboard and other materials.
Mr Cunningham said the overflowing depot was an ongoing problem for the town.
“It’s about this time of year it all culminates because everybody comes in for the season.
“We’ve had problems in the past.
“I don’t know what the answer is but we’ve discussed a few options.
“You either expand the size of it or you take it away, is my opinion.”
It is free to use the recycling station, which is managed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Council communications adviser Jimmy Sygrove said only a minority of people were misusing the centre and dumping large amounts of material that was not allowed.
“This includes non-recyclable material such as TVs and appliances and commercial waste, including construction and demolition waste.”
The majority of Hawea residents had kerbside refuse and recycling collections and should be using that weekly service to dispose of their household waste, he said.
“There are currently approximately 30 residential properties in Hawea who don’t receive a kerbside collection. However, the amount of rubbish dumped at the site, both recyclable and non-recyclable, is far greater than what would be expected from this many households.
“With such a large amount of mixed rubbish dumped at the site on a regular basis it becomes a large task to have it sorted and disposed of, and this has a knock-on effect for the kerbside collections.
“We’re currently working with our contractors to find a solution, but if the drop-off point continues to be misused it will be closed.”
Additional skips would be available at the centre over the Christmas and New Year period to cope with the increase demand, he said.
He reminded residents to check what was recyclable and to contact the council directly if they had any questions.
“We ask that those using the drop-off site ensure the material they are dropping off is residential household waste that is sorted appropriately, as continued misuse of the facility by the minority may see it ruined for the rest of the community.”