A government audit in the Cook Islands shows two-thirds of all waste going to the Rarotonga landfill is recyclable.
A Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning team conducted the audit at the Rarotonga Waste Facility last week .
The Ministry's secretary, Donye Numa, says the results were shocking and there is a need for rapid improvements in the way Rarotongan households and businesses manage their waste.
Ms Numa says sending waste to the landfill should be the last resort, but instead the results suggest many people see it as the best way to get rid of all their rubbish, including material that can easily be recycled.
She says, as a result, Rarotonga is using 60 percent more landfill space than needed.