Households in a Westcountry city could find themselves having to pay as much as £45 for a rubbish bin.
Until now, new and replacements bins have been provided free by Exeter City Council. But faced with a cost of about £120,000 annually to cover this, the authority now plans to introduce charges.
The fee would be £25 for a 140-litre bin, £35 for 180-litre, and £45 for 240-litre.
The average bin lasts about eight years.
Green bins will continue to be provided and replaced free of charge, but developers would have to pay for rubbish bins for new homes.
Robert Norley, the city's assistant director for environment, said: "We realise that this will come as a bit of a shock.
"Local authorities have been able to charge since the 1990s and about half have chosen to do so – until now we have chosen not to.
"Some households can't be bothered to bring their bin in after collection and it ends up being carried away.
"People don't like to see bins on the street and if there is some value attached to the bin then hopefully this will encourage people to take care of their bin and if they do this it will last longer.
"We hear from people who want to change from a larger bin to a smaller one then later they want to change it back again, but this has been just because they want a clean bin and can't be bothered to clean it."
The city council is also hoping the charges will encourage people to use a smaller bin, thus throwing out less rubbish for landfill and recycling more.
Mr Norley said: "We could all use smaller bins.
"A waste audit carried out by the city council and Devon County Council found that bins were only between 50 and 70 per cent full.
"There is a cost to waste, but with some members of the general public this doesn't register – there is financial cost as well as cost in terms of the environment. Sending rubbish to landfill is not good for the environment."
Councillor Yolonda Henson, leader of the city's Conservatives, has said that she fears residents will be shocked at being asked to pay for rubbish bins.
She said: "As a group the Conservatives are against this as we see the bins as being part and parcel of the service which the city council provides."
The city council has yet to discuss what exemptions there would be to the charges.