More than 200 alleyways across Preston have been cleared of dumped rubbish.
In the latest four-day clean-up, officers moved hundreds of waste items from outside people’s homes.
But council chiefs are now changing their approach and suspending the routine removal of dumped waste, and culprits could face instant legal action.
Teams visited ginnels across the city and cleared the areas, to improve the environment and let children play in them more safely.
During the quarterly clean-ups, officers found waste from furniture to electrical goods dumped in the alleys, often by residents living nearby. Many of the alleys were gated between terraced houses, with the worst found in Fishwick and Tulketh.
Head of clean environment services at Preston Council, Mark Taylor, said: “During the week’s work in December we came across 280 separate incidents of dumped rubbish in the alley ways.
“The rubbish consisted of various items from excess waste to full kitchen fittings.
“Clearing this took up valuable resources including a team of six people and three vehicles.
“These resources could have been used elsewhere keeping the city clean. We hope now that the alley ways are clear people realise how useful the space can be for communities and that they remain clean and tidy hereafter.”
Council bosses said cleaning services had previously been “lenient”, but all future dumping will now be investigated and enforcement action will be taken where possible.
Despite the previous approach, the council has issued 75 written warnings, four formal cautions, eight fixed penalty tickets and two prosecutions in the last year.
Cabinet member for community and environment Coun Robert Boswell said: “We have cleaned up alleyways in the past and as soon as we did we noticed that children started to play in them.
“Routine removal of dumped waste has been suspended and anyone identified as mistreating the alleyways could face legal action.
“Dumped rubbish in alleyways has been a problem in previous years but now that we have cleaned the alley ways we hope they will stay clean for the sake of the children and the community in general.
“Dumping rubbish is a serious issue and if you are caught, or waste from your property is found fly tipped, you could face large penalties or even a term of imprisonment.”