Council bosses have vowed to crack down on disgraceful St Helens litter louts who cost the cash-strapped authority £1.7m last year.
A new team of officers will be tasked with issuing on-the-spot fines to those who dump rubbish such as cigarette stumps, food waste and travel tickets.
The council recently gave residents a stark reminder of the impact of street litter by displaying a weekend’s worth of trash - which reached 8ft high - outside the entrance to the Town Hall.
Coun Seve Gomez Aspron, cabinet member for environment and neighbourhoods, said: “The amount of litter which was on display was an absolute disgrace.
“There really is no excuse. The cost to clean up the litter comes out of your council tax, so even if you don’t drop litter you still pick up the bill of those who do. It’s your money being thrown away. Last year the litter clean up on the borough’s streets cost £1,759,713, the council has revealed.
During 2013/14, the council’s contact centre received 351 complaints relating to dog fouling and 1,066 concerning fly-tipping and litter.
Coun Aspron added: “We are proud of St Helens and are committed to ensuring we all live in a healthy, safe and pleasant environment.”
The harsher sanctions for litterbugs will be part of an ongoing awareness campaign run by the environmental warden team.
To date the wardens have been visiting communities informing residents of the high cost of the consequences of littering.
The focus on issuing fines will start this month. Litter counts as anything which is thrown or dropped - including chewing gum, cigarette butts and food, council officers added.
Anyone caught dropping litter could be hit with a £75 fixed penalty notice with non-payment resulting in a court appearance with a potential fine of up to £1,000.
To report litter bugs to the council, contact 01744 676789 or report online at www.sthelens.gov.uk/litter