City officials say they will start an automated garbage collection system in the city if Woods Cross will join North Salt Lake and make it a two-city proposition.

Whether North Salt Lake will start an automated system if Woods Cross elects not to join remains to be seen, North Salt Lake officials said.North Salt Lake City Manager Collin Wood said Tuesday a two-city system would be much more economical.

He said he is waiting for a decision from Woods Cross. "They have set up a committee to study the feasibility of an automated system, but have not made a decision yet."

North Salt Lake officials said they will not hold a public hearing on the garbage collection issue but they will accept comments from the public at City Council meetings, held in City Hall the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m.

At the Feb. 21 council meeting, one citizen, Hugh Williams, 300 S. Highway 89, said he feels private enterprise can always provide services more inexpensively than government, although it may not show up for three to four years.

Councilwoman Shanna Schaefermeyer said an analysis of each service is necessary because, she said, "some things are done better by private companies and other things by government."

Councilman Kenneth Millard said the city can't tolerate a system breakdown involving public health and safety "and this is a consideration in determining who shall provide services."

Wood said he has reviewed the proposals of nine bidders on garbage collection for the city. Bids range from $3.77 to $5.66 per household per month.

He said the city has several options, including staying with conventional hauling by a private company, costing $3.25 per household; changing to an automated system with a private company at $3.77 per household; or beginning a city-operated automated system at $3.30 per household.

City officials said the cost of garbage collection is a major consideration. Costs of automated systems vary with the type and size of containers and the method of financing.