The city is getting out of the garbage hauling business. The City Council voted Tuesday to award a contract to Browning-Ferris Industries for solid waste collection, plus a spring and fall residential cleanup service.

The service will start early next year and will likely include a five-year contract, with rates locked in for the first three years. BFI was the apparent low bidder and will also purchase the city's garbage hauling equipment.The city still has to negotiate with BFI on household rates because the city recently made another bond payment toward its garbage hauling equipment, which has changed previously quoted prices by BFI.

Rates will also depend on whether Syracuse, for which Clearfield currently provides garbage collection, decides to remain with the city's new private collection service. Rates for Clearfield will be lower if Syracuse is a part of the BFI collection routes.

The Syracuse City Council voted Tuesday to authorize the city manager to solicit bids on private garbage collection to see what type of prices the city can get on its own, before deciding whether or not to remain with Clearfield.

"We're a good-sized organization with an excellent service record and we're here to do business," Steven R. Batchelor, BFI's district manager, told the Clearfield Council.

Jack Bippes, city manager, told the council the city would have to purchase new garbage hauling equipment in the near future if it remains in the garbage hauling business. He said a private collection service would probably mean no increase in rates to residents and would keep costs lower in the future than they would be with a city system.

BFI indicated it could also conduct spring and fall cleanups in Clearfield for less than half the cost Clearfield has incurred in recent years. However, BFI stressed it will pick up yard debris only and not old appliances, concrete or construction materials during the cleanups.

Clearfield will be the first city in north Davis County to be serviced by BFI, but the company already does extensive hauling for businesses in the area. Clearfield and Syracuse are the only cities in Davis County that still employ city garbage hauling systems.

Kay Chandler, Clearfield's director of economic development, believes the city may receive a lot of complaints during the next spring cleanup. He said even though Clearfield recently informed residents through its newsletter of new restrictions about what materials will be picked up during fall and spring cleanups, he still believes the city has been inconsistent in applying the rules and that some residents will be upset.