People and businesses in Brighton and Hove are using half as many skips as they were three years ago.
More than 4,000 licences were issued in 2011-12, according to a report to members of Brighton and Hove City Council.
But in the current year – with less than a month to go – the number has dropped from 4,160 to 1,852.
Over the same period the council licensed 1,497 scaffolds, compared with 1,566, and 95 hoardings, compared with 51.
Members of the council’s Licensing Committee were told that rising costs were a factor, including the cost of hiring a skip as well as the licence for it.
But many people were also choosing to pay a licensed waster carrier to turn up, collect rubbish and take it away without the need for a skip.
Some councillors feared that more rubbish was being dumped or flytipped. Councillor Mo Marsh said that Hodshrove Woods in her Mouslecoomb and Bevendean ward was a case in point.
The committee was told that officials were doing their best to encourage people to use the proper and most cost-effective form of waste disposal.
Enforcement action is also carried out, some of prompted by tip-offs from the public and some from officials monitoring their own patch.
The number of abandoned bicycles, for example, went up from 820 in 2011-12 to 1,068 so far in 2014-15. The number of abandoned vehicles has remained relatively steady. There were 1.172 in 2011-12 and 1,118 so far this year.
Skip and scaffold licences generated £145,000 for the council, according to the most recent figures.
Tables and chairs outside cafés generated £96,000, A boards generated £33,000 and hoardings £60,000.
The number of licences for A boards has risen from 378 in 2011-12 to 440 so far in the current year.
And the number of licences for tables and chairs had increased from 253 to 280 over the same period, the report said.