Crawley council says it is adopting a ‘zero-tolerance’ to littering.
Community wardens will be issuing on-the-spot fines to people caught dropping rubbish.
A council spokesman said: “The decision was made to implement the zero-tolerance policy after the council’s Streetscene Team noticed an increase in litter, chewing gum and leftover food on their daily rounds of the town.
“Littering not only looks unsightly but encourages pests such as rats, which carry diseases and parasites that can be harmful to humans.”
Previously, anyone caught littering received a verbal warning and was asked to pick up the dropped item.
However, in a bid to crack down on the issue, community wardens will issue an £80 fixed penalty notice (FPN).
The new policy has been implemented with immediate effect.
Councillor Geraint Thomas said: “We want to encourage visitors and residents to respect and take care of our town, littering is unsightly, costly and has a detrimental effect on the environment.
“By taking a tougher approach to combat the issue, I hope members of the public will be more mindful about how they impact the world around them.”
Once an FPN has been served, it must be paid within 14 days. There is a lesser charge for payment within seven days.