THE new council environment boss in York said people in the city need to "pull together" to stop more littering making the streets dirtier.

Cllr Andrew Waller, the executive member for the environment under the new Conservative - Liberal Democrat council coalition - was speaking after figures obtained by The Press showed growth in the number of littering complaints since 2010.

A Freedom of Information response from City of York Council shows that the average number of littering complaints has risen from 26.6 a month in the last three months of 2010, to more as many as two per day in 2011-13.

In 2011, an average of 54 complaints were made a month, in 2012 the average was 60, and in 2013 the monthly average was 55. Council staff said they did not have figures after October 2013.

Despite the increases, the council is currently pushing ahead with a project to replace many street bins with fewer solar powered "big belly" compactor bins. The authority's head of public realm Russell Stone said were more environmentally friendly, needed emptying less frequently, and were a "proven success".

The first of the bins was installed in King's Square in 2012, and this March plans to put another 14 around the city in place of 22 normal bins were approved by the council.

York Press:

Andrew Waller, left, and Russell Stone, right

Mr Stone added: “We continue to monitor litter levels across the city and are working closely with local communities and volunteers to encourage people to take responsibility for the way they dispose of their litter.

"Following the successful Big Spring Clean earlier this year a number of community groups and individual volunteers are continuing to do great work to keep their local area clean and tidy.”

Cllr Waller has said that while his group voted against reducing the number of bins on city streets it would not now be practical to reverse that, adding that he would ask council staff to come up with solutions for the areas with the worst litter problems.

He said: "We want people to take pride in the city, and this is letting the side down.

"We can't let a city like York carry on like this."

He said the new council administration would look for sponsorship and ways of getting local businesses to help keep the streets tidier, and added: "We want people to pull together and take pride in their area."