The scourge of fly-tipping has spread to the suburbs, official figures showed yesterday.
Illegal rubbish dumping - almost all of it household refuse - is now found as much in genteel and leafy areas as in sink estates and inner cities.
The shift of fly-tipping to the suburbs has gone alongside the imposition of fortnightly rubbish collections and strict wheelie bin regulations.
This rubbish was dumped in the affluent South West London area of Battersea: More and more fly-tipping is happening in upmarket districts and the suburbs.
Figures released by the Environment Department showed that half of all fly-tips are found around towns and cities but outside deprived areas.
In the past a big majority of recorded fly-tips have been in the poorest and most lawless areas.
They also showed that six out of ten fly-tipping incidents involved household refuse rather than business or industrial waste and that most were dumps of one car boot-load of rubbish. More than one in ten fly-tips were of a single black bag.
Evidence of middle-class fly-tipping produced a new broadside against Labour's compulsory recycling policies from Tories who have made it an election pledge to bring back weekly collections.
Local government spokesman Eric Pickles said: 'These figures illustrate that fly-tipping is rife across the country, hitting Middle England hard. Clearly it is becoming the norm and not the exception.
'Sixty per cent of all fly-tipping is household waste under Labour. Britain's green and pleasant land is now littered by the blot of black bin bags, directly due to Whitehall's policy of bullying town halls into axing weekly collections and adopting over-zealous 'no side waste' policies.'
He added: 'Gordon Brown's new bin taxes look set to make it even worse, by giving perverse financial incentives to irresponsibly fly-tip.'
In the 12 months up to March 2007, the DEFRA breakdown showed that the number of enforcement actions against those dumping rubbish went up by 26 per cent.
Overall, there were 1.24million fly-tip incidents, down 7.5 per cent on last year.
However the figures do not include Liverpool incidents because of problems over recording in the city.
Minister for waste Jane Kennedy said: 'We still need to work on the serious environmental and social problem of fly-tipping. Local authorities are doing well in the fight against it.'
Fly-tipping has risen in recent years as around half the councils that collect rubbish in England have abandoned weekly pick-ups for fortnightly collections and compulsory recycling schemes.
These have been accompanied by attempts to force families to put out less rubbish, usually involving strict rules.
Householders are not allowed to fill bins so their lids are open, rubbish must not be put out at the wrong hours and no 'side waste' left in bags alongside bins is allowed.
What was wrong with the old rules?
There's the problem with having lefties on councils - government is the answer so they just want to make rules.
The fact that the rules have negative consequences doesn't seem to stop them implementing even more crazy rules.
The whole point of weekly rubbish collection is hygeine.
Fortnightly collection decreases hygeine and the public health.
Why not make it monthly? Or quarterly?
The arguments against those timeframes apply equally to fortnightly.
That's what happens when Environmentalists have too much influence over public policy.