THE bill for cleaning up dropped litter in the town reached nearly £1.8m last year, says St Helens Council.

Now to tackle the problem, a clampdown will be launched in August to impose harder sanctions on those who drop rubbish.

The council is introducing a new team of environmental wardens who will be on daily patrols to ensure anyone responsible for littering is made to pay for the mess they make.

Common types of litter found in the town include food waste and packaging, cigarette stumps, and bus and train ticket stubs.

Tackling dog fouling will also be stepped up.

This week the council’s environmental protection service created a dramatic demonstration to show the impact litter bugs have on the town.

One weekend’s worth of litter collected by street cleaners from the town centre was piled nearly eight feet high on display outside St Helens town hall.

Councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The amount of litter on display was an absolute disgrace.

“There really is no excuse and the cost to clean 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.

“We are proud of St Helens and are committed to ensuring we all live in a healthy, safe and pleasant environment.”