Household bins could return to weekly collections under new proposals from the Environment Secretary.
Councils in England will be obliged to provide weekly pick-ups of food waste and free bins for green waste collection, according to reports in a number of Sunday papers.
Authorities will get more money from the Government to pay for the increased frequency of collections, Michael Gove said.
He was quoted as saying: "For too long food waste has been left lingering in bins for weeks.
"We'll invest to smooth out differences between individual councils, and support comprehensive and frequent rubbish and recycling collections."
Many local authorities - including Sunderland - have reduced the collection to fortnightly, with non-recycleable household waste collected one week, and recycleable waste the next.
Garden waste is also every two weeks, between April and November.
Sunderland Council currently charges £32.50 a year to have one brown garden waste bin emptied, or £20 for each additional bin, up to a total of four.