Town halls are snubbing Government plans for 'pay-as-you-throw' rubbish taxes.
They are refusing to impose extra charges on households already suffering from the economic slump.
Ministers want hundreds of councils to sign up to the scheme, allowing them to charge households if they leave out too much non-recyclable waste.
But a survey of 100 local authorities found that not a single one even wanted to take part in an initial trial run.
Many were openly hostile to the idea of hitting residents with bigger bills at a time of recession.
The backlash is the latest example of green taxes slipping down the political agenda as the harsh reality of economic slowdown makes itself felt.
The same study found that many councils are changing to fortnightly rubbish collections - and believe the system is helping to boost recycling levels.
But local authorities admit they are having to stockpile recycled waste because the global economic slump has sent prices for materials such as plastics and aluminium plunging.
The 'pay-as-you-throw' pilot scheme later this year, introduced as part of the Climate Change Act, is supposed to involve up to five English councils. They can decide to reward residents for recycling or charge them for producing too much waste.
Ministers hope the controversial measures will then be rolled out across the entire country.
But many councils expressed grave concerns in the survey, and none said it was applying to take part.
Tory councillor Terry Neville, cabinet member for the environment at Enfield, north London, said: 'The Government is encouraging councils to heap more expense on households as the country is about to enter possibly the worst recession in living memory. It simply beggars belief.
'We will not be asking our residents to fork out more money for something they are already paying for in council tax.' <-clicky->