Staff at a Gisborne recycling station where human tissue including bone fragments was found in rubbish bags are being offered counselling.
Workers at Transpacific Recycling discovered the fragments on Wednesday when a rubbish bag split and the contents fell out as it was being loaded onto a rubbish truck.
A second bag containing human tissue was found later during a search.
Tairawhiti District Health Board chief executive Jim Green has apologised for the mistake.
Mr Green says he believes it was an isolated incident and an investigation is underway.