The Kaysville City Council voted Tuesday to join a growing list of cities who use an automated garbage collection system.

City officials said the Jan. 1 change from manual handling pickup of trash cans will not affect the city's monthly garbage rate.The cost to the city for garbage pickup will actually drop, under a bid the council accepted, but the difference in cost will be used to help pay for the new garbage cans the city also voted to purchase.

After weeks of debate - which included pushing the new cans around the chambers - the council voted to purchase 105-gallon wheeled cans at$61.49 each for distribution to residents. The cans, which have a 10-year guarantee and an extra 15-gallon capacity, will cost the city $230,000.

The city has $200,000 set aside for the purchase and will use the money earned in the monthly rate differential to acquire the additional $30,000.

After voting on the can purchase, the council voted to award the collection contract to Robinson Refuse, which bid $3 per household per month for weekly curbside garbage collection. Robinson made the low bid, with other bids going up to over $14 per month.

The city is currently paying $3.50 per household per month for garbage collection, in addition to $6.75 per household per month in tipping fees at the county burn plant.

The rate billed to residents is $11.25 a month, which City Manager John Thacker said also includes street sweeping and other public works services.

Council members debated which garbage cans to buy for almost a month.

Some council members argued that the elderly and others would have an easier time with the smaller, 90-gallon wheeled cans. But the city's big families need the bigger 105-gallon containers, others claimed.

Two cans sat in the council chambers for several weeks, with council members trying them out, pushing them around, thumping and shaking them, and even at one point loading a city staffer into them and wheeling them around to get a feel for how they handle when full.

Color became an issue, with council member Cherie Goodliffe saying she didn't like the black cans and holding out for another color, preferably blue or burgundy.

In the end, however, the 105-gallon, black, wheeled cans won out.

The cans will withstand just about anything that nature or man dishes out, sales representative Richard Huinze told the council, except putting hot ashes in them.

Fireplace or woodstove ashes "turn them into a black, molten puddle," he said. The cans have a warning printed on their lid regarding hot ashes.