Fly-tippers could face on-the-spot fines in Wales
On-the-spot fines for fly-tippers could be introduced in a bid to clampdown on the growing problem.
Fly-Tipping Action Wales (FTAW) said there were more than 36,000 incidents of illegal dumping of waste in Wales last year.
The Welsh government is now consulting on bringing in new measures to tackle the crime.
Every 15 minutes rubbish is fly-tipped or illegally dumped somewhere in Wales.
FTAW programme manager Gary Evans said: "It equates to 100 incidents every day. That's far too many.
"The Welsh taxpayer has to foot the bill to clear-up. That money could be far better spent on other services like education and health."
Across the UK, it is estimated that waste crime costs £568m a year in clean-up costs and lost tax revenue.
The cost to Welsh councils is approaching £2m a year.
Figures obtained by BBC Radio Wales' Eye on Wales programme suggest the annual cost to the Welsh fire services of attending waste fires is around £5m.
To further the fight, the Welsh government is consulting with the UK government on plans to follow Scotland and introduce fixed penalty notices.
Currently cases have to be taken to court, which is expensive and time consuming for councils.
Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said: "We're very keen to pursue this illegal activity.
"We're saying, 'if you fly-tip in Wales, we are coming looking for you' and we will actively seek to prosecute you.
"We just need to ensure that the consultation comes back giving us the tools to deal with the job."