W3.CSS Template



Recycling Information Assistant



Derry & Strabane, UK


(028) 7125 3253

Service Skills



Bins Content


General waste





Technical Resources

Check our GitHub project

Find the code and instructions to run a chatbot



During the chatbot development process lots of data was collected and created. We are making it available for others to train their AI assistants.
Check it here.

Other useful resources we created

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Benefits of the Service

More efficient customer service

To develop more sustainable public services for remote areas through emerging technologies. A key aspect of EMERGREEN is to empower local communities from remote areas to participate in the planning processes and to help develop these new public services for greener, sustainable and more socially inclusive regions making a better use of the existing resources.
This project relates directly to Council’s Zero Waste Circular Economy Strategy.

Better use of internal resources

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Increased engagement with specific members of the public

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Address Sustainability and Climate Change Issues

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Targeted Groups

As the service has not yet been launched, we will presume that the users are as originally stated in the application and they are the Householders and business owners. The chatbot will provide instantaneously answer to the users out of normal office hours and in particular during holidays. The content will also not only answer their query but in some instances give them some educational tips/advise for future reference. The service will help council monitor and review the key areas for interest, free up some staff to carry out other roles, and ensure that users are getting answers to their queries when the offices are closed. The other pro from the chatbot is we can educate the user without them asking for further information. It will allow us to regularly update and manage our content more frequently.

Marketing and Promotion

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Development and Implementation Process

Development Process

The service involved a lot of research and data collection at the beginning in order to create a detailed knowledge base for NUI Galway to start the building process. Data was regularly monitored and tested at different stages by various test groups. Where content needed to be updated or amended, we used an online Google doc to allow for consistency and prevent duplication. Design of the chatbot window was carried out and tested on the website platform. More testing is to be carried ahead of the launch.
The service development began with data collecting and the developers created a template to input the data. Weekly meetings were held with the developers to discuss progress, actions, and future plans. During the early stages of development, we had some internal staff members test the chatbot in terms of language, tone and flow of the conversation and to ensure the data they received was correct. A survey was drafted prior to testing and each tester filled out the survey. This survey then allowed us and the developers to review any feedback and issues, which were then implemented and amended.
We appointed graphic designers to create a Brand and logo for the chatbot and ran a social media competition to allow for public engagement in the naming of the chatbot. This proved successful and allowed for the chatbot to be named RIA. RIA was then incorporated into the brand design.
We then went onto have marketing collateral designed with the new logo and commissioned for animation videos to be created. These would be used for the launch and promotion of the chatbot.
During this time, the team continued to work on the completing the data collection, during which the team was expanded and more teams from the recycling and waste department got involved. They tested the chatbot and came back with some feedback for amendments.
We contacted focus groups to carry out testing before Christmas as we had hoped to launch the chatbot before the Christmas holidays. However, as a result of the testing, we needed to add a lot more content and tweak current information in order to ensure the chatbot would be efficient, therefore the launch was delayed.
In the new year we went on to appoint a web developing company to design a new webpage – which would be the new hosting platform for the chatbot. We had some delays with the web developer hence this further delayed the chatbot launch.
We are currently tying up some loose ends in terms of content as there was a change to bin services and content and therefore the knowledge base needed to be updated.
Plans are in place for focus group testing scheduled for 12th May and launching at the end of May.

Technical Requirements

The chatbot requires a server and platform such as a website to be hosted on. User will need Wi-Fi or mobile data to access the chatbot.

Technology Used

The chatbot is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) used in messaging apps. This tool helps add convenience for customers—they are automated programs that interact with customers like a human would.

Challenges and Recommendations

The content gathering of the chatbot can be very time-consuming depending on the subject or area the chatbot is developed for. In our case it was for the recycling and waste department. This department consists of various sub-sections and data, which, on some occasions can change in given circumstances. There are a lot of details required for each intent such as various synonyms, questions options, taking into consideration slang words and local lingo, etc. Careful planning and setting out a detailed knowledge base template at the beginning is important, ensuring all members of the team are involved from the beginning and that they give their input and review content regularly to ensure it is correct.
The data collection and ensuring this is correct is the most time-consuming element of the development. I will advise to set out a plan/structure of what content and answers you wish to use and get as many people as possible on the team to review the different scenarios and intents – using different terminology and lingos. Testing is also crucial and allows to you pick up on errors or missing data earlier on and again this will save time down the line. Try and simplify answers and keep them short and not too text heavy and use animation/video/imagery where possible.