Illegal fly-tipping is costing West Midlands councils millions of pounds a year to clean up, according to new figures.
The worst offenders are ordinary members of the public who dump black bin bags, sofas and televisions in the street or in parks and playing fields.
Almost 60 per cent of fly-tips dealt with by local authorities in the region are domestic rubbish.
The rest are dumped by businesses who make a career of illegally disposing of other people's waste.
But the main cause of the problem is that people simply do not know about waste-removal services available from their local council.
A total of 66,000 incidents of flytipping were reported in the West Midlands region between April 2005 and March 2006, costing £3.5 million to dispose of.
Around half involved rubbish dumped in the street, and a quarter involved waste left on council land.
But the scale of the problem in the West Midlands is below the national average.
The worst offenders are in London, where the problem is almost three times as bad.
Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw called on local authorities to come down hard against illegal dumping - but also to ensure residents knew how to request that rubbish be taken away.
He said: "Councils have tended to concentrate on clearance. That is vital, but there needs to be more emphasis on preventing fly-tipping happening in the first place."
The worst offenders were criminals fly-tipping on a commercial scale.