The time taken to unload recycling and the need for overtime will reduce once all new vehicles are in use, councillors were told last week.

And recycling rates already seem to be on the up.

Answering a number of questions from councillors on the new recycling scheme introduced last month and the way it was communicated, the cabinet member for environment Cllr Cris Tomos  praised the majority of residents who have embraced the changes.

He said at Thursday’s full council that there was a “noticeable increase in recycling compared to the same time last year but it’s too early to provide detailed information on tonnage.”

He also said that the scheme had “certainly got people in Pembrokeshire talking about recycling.”

There are 60,406 households – 94 per cent – using the new scheme and 3,897 are on the orange bag recycling scheme with three weekly grey bag collection.

Cllr Brian Hall had asked about delays in emptying the collection lorries, saying there was “lots of problems” with the roll-out and telling members there had been around 140 bags not collected in Pembroke Dock this week.

He was told that the full fleet of new lorries – 27 in total – would be in use in January and these had automated emptying to speed up the process.

This would also reduce the need for overtime, councillors heard, in response to Cllr Elwyn Morse’s question about discontent among staff.

Cllr Huw George was told that people offering a bag collection service was legal as long as they the necessary permits and any indication of illegality would be investigated by police.

Councillors also heard that where issues arose at ‘bring sites’ with people fly tipping and contaminating other recycling, consideration would be given to removing the sites.

“We have removed bring sites from Llangwm and Kilgetty with no obvious increase in fly tipping in those areas,” said Cllr Tomos.