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The City Council wants to hear what Farmington residents think of switching to an automated garbage collection system - one similar to systems that several other Davis County cities have adopted.

The council will hold a public hearing on garbage collection at its meeting Wednesday, April 4, in the Farmington municipal building council chambers at 7 p.m.With the cost of garbage collection and disposal at the county burn plant increasing annually, a study by the council done in March shows switching to an automated system could save residents money.

Farmington residents pay $9 per month for garbage collection - $4.67 of which goes to pay the $35 per ton tipping fee at the burn plant. That fee will go to $50 per ton this summer to pay of the plant's debt service, which the city says will increase its collection fee by $2 per month beginning July 1.

By switching to an automated system, a city study shows that fee could be cut by about 75 cents per month, including the cost of buying the large wheeled containers needed for the system.

City manager Max Forbush said Farmington residents generate more garbage per household than any other city in Davis County, putting out 1.6 tons annually per family.

If that could be cut by 200 pounds annually, according to Forbush, garbage collection fees could be reduced by 42 cents a month, or $5.04 a year. The city is looking at ways to reduce the amount of garbage hauled to the burn plant, by recycling or other alternatives, he said.

According to the city's study, the advantages of automated pickup include:

-More efficient collection of ref-use by the hauler, using one crewman on an automated truck instead of two or three.

-Long-term stabilization of collection costs.

-Manual loading of garage is eliminated, reducing job-related injuries and compensation claims.

-City-supplied refuse containers would reduce residents' costs for garbage cans and plastic bags.