Increase in Christmas landfill waste partly blamed on recycling confusion

The number of people bringing waste to landfills has increased for the festive season, and a lot of what's being thrown away could be recycled, according to a waste manager.

During December and January, there's a 15 percent increase in people bringing their waste to the landfill, which equates to an extra 400 tonnes of rubbish.

It's what consumers are throwing away that upsets Wellington City Council waste operations manager Emily Taylor-Hall.

"Lots of cardboard. Lots of cardboard which is really disappointing."

It also includes more items which could be easily recycled or re-sold at the tip shop, she added.

Taylor-Hall said there's more to throw away because it's Christmas and people are on holiday.

But it isn't just at Christmas - about 10 percent of landfill waste could be recycled, which Taylor-Hall attributes partly to recycling confusion.

"We know across New Zealand, different councils might have a slightly different system accepting slightly different things."

Mostly she believes it's about convenience, and hopes that behaviour will change with the Government's proposed increase to the landfill levy.

However, Wellington's southern landfill will reach its capacity in four years in its current state, Taylor-Hall said.