Today is Fly Tipping Friday - believed by experts to be Britain's biggest day for the illegal dumping of unwanted goods and discarded rubbish.
With a mountain of Christmas waste left over, the first Friday of the year could see huge amounts of fly tipping across the country, experts from Junk Hunters are warning.
People may also find their homes are overstuffed after shopping in the post-Christmas sales, especially if they made large purchases such as furniture or white goods and are still waiting for the old ones to be taken away, the company said.
Fly tippers often do their illegal dumping at night time, and are likely to wait until the end of the working week.
The team at Junk Hunters are now urging householders not to succumb to the temptation to fly tip, and called upon councils to offer additional services around the festive period.
According to the latest government figures, from 2016-17 there were over a million fly tipping incidents throughout England.
This led to a total clearance cost of over £57.5 million but offenders were also fined a total of nearly £723,000.
CEO of Junk Hunters Harsha Rathnayake said: “It’s not just the packaging and gift wrap – there are used crackers, cards, table and wall decorations, food leftovers, even Christmas trees to get rid of.
“Or maybe you’ve bought a lot of stuff in the sales and now there isn’t room for everything – it can be hard to judge how much space you’ve got and it does happen.
“Coupled with the late or reduced council collection services, it can get very stressful and people may be tempted to take their rubbish and just dump it somewhere quiet – but they really, really mustn’t.
“Fly tipping is illegal for a reason – it’s dangerous, unsightly, terrible for the environment and it costs councils tens of millions of pounds a year to clean up and they’re cash-strapped enough already.
“We’ve got a hotline on 0800 233 5865 for people to call if they’re tempted to fly tip and we can offer help and guidance on how to manage. It’s never necessary to dump illegally.
“Councils have a responsibility to provide adequate waste removal services, but households can prepare themselves.
“It’s worth looking into whether your local council is offering any additional collection services around the holiday season, as many of them do.”