Failure to take action over littering and dog fouling in Wrexham can no longer continue, opposition politicians have said.
No fines have been handed out since the council terminated its contract with Kingdom Services in December.
The firm failed to issue any £75 fixed penalty notices in August or September.
Opposition members urged the council to boost its team of enforcement officers, but did not rule out working with other councils or hiring another contractor.
Lib Dem councillor Alun Jenkins told the environment scrutiny committee on Wednesday that maintaining the status quo was no longer a choice, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
“Now that we haven’t got Kingdom it would seem we’re not taking any action with regards to littering and dog fouling,” he said.
“I don’t think that can be the case, can it?”
Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper wanted to rule out working with another outside company.
But other members disagreed and warned against delaying the decision.
Independent councillor John Phillips said: “It’s virtually a free-for-all at the moment.
“We need enforcement and we need it soon.”
The majority voted in favour of creating an enhanced team of council enforcement officers as their preferred option.
But David A Bithell, lead member for environment on the ruling Independent-Conservative executive board, said it could take up to nine months for the new service to be put in place and funding to be found.
While neighbouring Flintshire and Denbighshire have opted not to work jointly at present, councillors asked for the possibility to be kept open.
They also asked officers to explore the options of creating an arm’s length company to carry out enforcement or finding another external firm.
Kingdom Services has had contracts with eight Welsh councils since 2013, but one deal – with Gwynedd – lasted less than 24 hours.
The company has also been dropped from or declined to renew contracts with Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Torfaen.