More than two-thirds of refuse collecters have suffered physical and verbal abuse, including attacks with guns, knives and drug needles, a survey reports.
Workers reported being attacked with shovels and grabbed around the throat by angry members of the public and road-rage motorists stuck behind refuse trucks.
In the Midlands, two local council workers were shot at with airguns, while in the North West a cleaner had a hypodermic needle thrown at him.
The poll conducted by the British Cleaning Council in conjunction with anti-litter charity Keep Britain Tidy, reveals some shocking statistics.
In total, 250 councils – about half of all local authorities – were questioned about abuse of street cleaners and binmen.
The research found that one in five workers is injured in violent physical assaults, rising to more than one third of workers in Wales.
And although more than half of the cleaners questioned reported regular verbal assaults from members of the public, it is believed the real figure is much higher as many incidents go unreported.
Judith West, who chairs the British Cleaning Council said: “It is simply not good enough that this is happening.
“While we welcome the news that 93% of the councils questioned have a procedure in place for reports of assaults, more action needs to be taken to stamp out this idiotic behaviour.”