A senior Brent councillor defended the current administration’s approach to recycling but said there is still more to do to improve the borough’s environment.

Cllr Krupa Sheth, responsible for the environment at Brent Council, responded to a public question at a full council meeting about its efforts on environmental issues.

She rejected claims that the borough’s waste management service, Veolia, mixes recyclables with ‘normal’ rubbish.

Responding to Macsen Brown, she pointed out that collections are monitored and said there is “no economic benefit” to mixing loads.

She added Brent hopes to “increase” its level of recycling, which currently stands at 38 per cent of all recyclable waste.

“Our environmental focus is to move further up the waste hierarchy and encourage waste minimisation or reduction as well as reuse,” she said.

“We are seeking to increase this as part of our drive for waste minimisation and improved education processes to reduce contamination of recycling bins at a household level.

“Brent has a large amount of flats which are nationally recognised by recycling bodies to be more difficult to achieve high quality recycling from.

“We are recognised by the Greater London Authority (GLA) as being one of the leading boroughs in offering a wide range of materials that residents can recycle and also are one of the only London boroughs who offer food waste collections to the majority of their residents; including those who live in flats.”

It came after Mr Brown pointed out that recycling levels in Brent is below the UK average of 45 per cent.

He also questioned the council’s commitment to addressing the recently declared ‘climate emergency’.

He suggested the council continues to “build up grey wastelands” as opposed to “green community spaces” and called for evidence of “radical steps” to ensure the borough is carbon neutral by 2030.

Cllr Sheth said the council has agreed to a “corporate review” of council climate change activity and sustainability, including independent analysis of its carbon emissions.

She also noted the interim report on the council’s response following the declaration of the climate emergency and the newly formed ‘Brent Climate Assembly’.