The amount of household rubbish being dumped illegally is soaring at a time when bin collections are being reduced.
There has been a 22 per cent rise in cases of bin bags being fly-tipped in the past five years, figures show.
At the same time, more than three-quarters of households now have their general waste collected only fortnightly, while single collections every three weeks are increasingly common.
If families forget to put their bins out this could mean they are left with four to six weeks of waste before the refuse collectors return. If they put their bags out too early, they are threatened with fines.
There has been a 22 per cent rise in cases of bin bags being fly-tipped in the past five years, figures show
Meanwhile, some councils have imposed a limit of three black bags for collections of domestic waste. Some areas also refuse to empty overly full wheelie bins.
Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show there were 182,677 incidents of black bags filled with household waste being dumped last year – around 3,500 every week. This made up almost one fifth of all fly-tipping for the year.
It was a 22 per cent increase on the 149,183 incidents recorded in 2012/13. There were 164,672 incidents in 2015/16.
The figures reveal it cost local authorities a record £58million last year to clear up waste dumped by fly-tippers. This does not include the cost to individuals or businesses when rubbish is left on private land.
In the vast majority of fly-tipping incidents, rubbish is dumped at the side of roads, although some is left on footpaths, farmland and railway lines.
Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP for Bath, said: ‘Fly-tipping is on the rise because of Tory cuts which have left councils cash-strapped, forcing them to reduce services in many parts of the country.’
Figures show 28 people were jailed for fly-tipping last year, while 1,318 were fined a total of £723,000.
At the same time, more than three-quarters of households now have their general waste collected only fortnightly, while single collections every three weeks are increasingly common
Out of 326 English councils, 248 run general rubbish rounds fortnightly, although some collect recycling every week.
Councils that collect rubbish only once every three weeks include Wigan, East Devon, Salford, Rochdale and Oldham. Those with three-bag limits include Leeds, Colchester and Swansea.
The reduction in general rubbish collection comes as town halls are trying to hit an EU target of a 50 per cent recycling rate by 2020.
Peter Jones, of waste consultancy Eunomia, said: ‘People mostly have more bin space than ever before, but most of it is recycling.
‘There is unwillingness from some people to recycle.’
Farmers hit by blight of illegal dumping
Their farm offers stunning views across West Yorkshire.
But now when Stephen and Rachel Hallos look out over the surrounding countryside, they see piles of rubbish fly-tipped in recent weeks.
Old fridges, rusty gas canisters, mouldy mattresses and unwanted children’s toys lie around an abandoned barn on nearby land, with detritus drifting in the wind towards their award-winning beef cattle herd.
Eyesore: Rachel Hallos with some of the rubbish near her farm yesterday
Because it is private land, the local council has refused to help. And with the landowner believed to be out of the country, the Halloses could face a bill of thousands to clear it up.
Fly-tipping gangs are thought to have used a private footpath to make repeated trips to dump truckloads of waste on the land near Ripponden.
‘It’s disgusting,’ Mrs Hallos, 47, said yesterday. ‘We’re at a loss.’
It comes as more than half of farmers complain that their land is being blighted by illegal dumping of waste.