THREE in four councils now collect household waste bins just once a fortnight.
Six local authorities have even resorted to only doing waste collections once every three weeks.
It comes despite households being hit with an average council tax bill of £1,600 after the biggest increase in a decade.
Town hall chiefs blamed the alarming drop in bin collections on EU obligations to increase recycling rates to 50 per cent by 2020 – on top of pressure to save money in the face of cuts.
It means councils are moving towards more frequent collection of recycled waste and food waste – at the expense of residual household rubbish.
An investigation found that 248 out of 326 local authorities across England with responsibility for waste collections run fortnightly general rubbish rounds for some or all households.
Bin collectors in Conwy, North Wales, only make visits once a month.
Wigan Council made the shift to collections of general rubbish once every three weeks in September, joining Salford, Rochdale, Oldham and Bury in Greater Manchester which already have three-weekly pick-ups.
Elsewhere, East Devon Council has brought in three-weekly collections and service provider SUEZ recycling and recovery UK said there had been a 10 per cent increase in recycling rates over the past 12 months.
But with annual household recycling rates across England falling last year, chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “To increase household recycling rates government needs to integrate waste and recycling planning into a modern industrial strategy which values the things we throw away as raw materials for manufacturing, and as an energy resource.”
The Local Government Association’s environment spokesman Martin Tett said there was no “one size fits all” solution to collecting bins, but councils knew that a “reliable and efficient” waste and recycling service was hugely important to residents.
And he pointed to a poll that showed eight in ten people were happy with bin collections regardless of the frequency with which they were picked up.
A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman urged councils to listen to local demands for more frequent collections.
A spokesman said: “It is for councils themselves to determine how they spend this across services, including on waste collection and how frequently collections take place.
“However, it is it is vital they consider the wishes of their residents, many of who want to see their bins collected as frequently as possible.”