BIDDEFORD — Starting July 16, Biddeford’s Pay as You Throw trash disposal bags will cost 25 cents more — but residents who use them could opt for a larger trash container, instead.

The City Council approved the bag fee increase from $1.50 to $1.75 for small bags, and $2.00 to $2.25 for large ones, on June 16.

At the same City Council meeting, members agreed to offer a new, larger trash disposal container for those who want them. The new 65-gallon container would replace the current, 35-gallon container. People could acquire one for an annual fee of $122, said Public Works Director Jeff Demers.

Councilor Amy Clearwater said the new container is designed to be a price break over using the PAYT bags, given the quantities of the bags being used.

She said she also supports incremental increases to the bag fees, even though the increase councilors approved doesn’t cover all costs.

“I think it’s less of a shock for folks,” Clearwater said, noting that with the pandemic, people are home more and more trash is created.

Currently, all single-family dwellings and those apartment buildings having five or fewer units that utilize the city’s waste service are allocated one 65-gallon blue recycling container and one 35-gallon green trash container for each dwelling unit on the property.

Public Works crews hand collect the overflow bags ahead of the vehicle that automatically picks up and dumps the containers’ contents into the truck, requiring two employees for two hours each day.

Councilor Stephen St. Cyr said the larger container is another option for people who currently buy bags.

“With pending price increases, it will be more cost effective and cut down on public works labor, ” he said.

The new, larger containers are expected to be available in September.

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