On Thursday, San Antonio’s city council approved $6.6 million for the purchase of 31 automated collection trucks and five rear-load trucks. The move comes in the wake of a pilot program started in June 2004 to gauge the viability of automated collection in the city. Based on the success of that program, the city plans to automate nearly 100 –- or 80 percent -- of San Antonio’s collection routes during the next seven years. According to San Antonio Solid Waste Manager Rose Ryan, the city expects to avoid any potential layoffs by coordinating the rollout with a schedule of planned attrition and by retraining redundant collection workers to work in other city departments.