Veolia is introducing a feature for virtual voice assistants and smart speakers that can provide area specific information on recycling and waste.
Initially, the bot will be able to answer questions surrounding next waste collections and correct bin colours.
In the future, Veolia says it may have enhanced features such as including advice on how busy the local household waste and recycling centre is and advice on materials that can be recycled.
The technology, known as Nvirobot is being piloted by Veolia across 13 council areas in London, Midlands and the North of England.
The first user’s in the pilot programme will use Amazon accounts with access to the Alexa app or a Echo dot. The Nvirobot will respond based on the address the account is associated with.
Stuart Stock, Veolia’s chief information officer, said: ” By harnessing the real power of today’s digital technologies we will be able to create ever more efficient services, maximise recycling, and lower carbon emissions. In this way this latest programme really highlights the progress that is being made, and how we are transforming the resource industry”.
The bot will be serving the following areas in this first phase: Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Harlow, Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Northampton, Sheffield, Southwark, Sutton and Watford.
Veolia has previously designed smart waste collection solutions to improve waste flow control, including electronic sensors, and automating material collection and sorting processes, such as the municipal smart technology ECHO.
The technology has the ability to track vehicles, confirm tasks and change routes and add collection into the system in real-time. Veolia said that this also helps reduce contamination and curb fly tipping through a ‘hotspotting’ approach.
The company also developed systems on how waste vehicles can be fuel efficient and avoid traffic sensitive areas.