Local authorities have called for fly-tipping prosecutions and legal cost recovery to be handled more quickly by the courts.
A report by the Local Government Association (LGA) warned that councils were dealing with an “epidemic” in fly-tipping.
It estimated that in 2016-7 there were 492,139 incidents of fly-tipping reported to be the size of a van or truck.
The LGA commended the Government on granting councils the power to issue fixed penalty notices, but said recovering costs when prosecuting the worst offenders could take years in some cases.
It said that councils often ended up making a net loss on every successful prosecution.
Martin Tett, LGA environment spokesman, said: “New fixed penalty notice powers from the Government will help but every single conviction for more serious fly-tipping offences still results in council taxpayers having to pick up the bill.
“We need to make sure that when councils take offenders to court, a faster, more effective legal system ensures that serious fly-tipping offences result in hard-hitting fines.
“Manufacturers can also contribute, by providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones. Councils are determined to end the scourge of fly-tipping and always urge residents to report fly-tipping as soon as possible.”