Windsor city council has voted 8-3 in favour of contracting out garbage and recycling collection services to a private firm.

Council spent more than five hours Monday night debating whether to go private with pickup services.

In the end, shortly after midnight, the mayor and councillors voted in favour of awarding the contract to Toronto-based Turtle Island Recycling Corp.

The union representing the city's garbage and recycling collection workers had asked council to put off a decision on contracting out services. Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 82, which represents the 50 city workers now doing the job, said it wanted more information on the estimated savings.

A motion to defer the issue was defeated early in the meeting by a vote of 6-5, with the mayor casting the tie-breaking vote.

A second motion to contract out 100 per cent of the recycling service and only half of the garbage pickup operation was also defeated.

A third motion to go along with the administration's recommendation to contract out the services to Turtle Island Recycling eventually passed.

It's estimated the potential savings to the city will be almost $9 million over a seven-year period. Workers affected by the switchover will be placed in other positions or be allowed to retire.

Turtle Island Recycling will be purchasing 27 vehicles and hiring workers to start collecting the city's garbage and recycling materials next year.

The city administration says residents should see no difference in service.