THERE is widespread regional variation in how much residents are being asked to pay by councils for bulky waste collection.

In Herefordshire the average cost of bulky waste collection is £6.70 per item, which compares to the average in England of £11.

In the West Midlands the average cost is £9.20 per item.

Rubbish collection is one of the most basic services provided by local councils - but not all household waste is covered by the cost of council tax.

With councils facing increasing pressure on their budgets, the majority of local authorities across the country have introduced additional charges for bulky waste collections - a service many once provided for free.

Bulky waste is furniture, household electrical items like televisions and white goods including fridges and freezers - essentially all the things from your house you no longer need and can’t fit into a bin.

Herefordshire Council charges £20 to householders to pick up bulky waste but this charge covers up to three items.

There is a separate rate for the collection of a fridge/freezer which is £20. Residents can use this service to dispose of a maximum of three fridges a year at £20 per item.

In 2017/18, there were nearly one million flytipping incidents in England. Of those, more than half - 521,895 - of the items dumped were white goods or other household waste - a category that includes furniture.

The analysis by BBC Local News Partnership's Shared Data Unit reveals widespread regional variation in how much people are being asked to pay, with prices ranging from just a few pounds for a single item to more than £100 for collections of multiple items.

There is a north-south divide - householders in the south of England have to pay three times as much on average as those in the North East to have bulky waste collected

A spokesperson for DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) said: “It is up to local authorities to set their priorities for the collection of waste and recycling on a local level – based on the needs of their local communities and within the national waste policy.

“Local authorities are able to charge what they see fit for the collection and disposal of ‘bulky waste’, but we expect them to consult on any charges with local residents.”