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Waltham Forest launches Twitter chatbot


Channel for reporting fly tipping and dog fouling follows earlier launch of Facebook bot

The London Borough of Waltham Forest has opened up a chatbot operating through a dedicated Twitter account for people to report environmental issues.

It marks the next step in the council’s development of bots, following the launch of a similar service operating through the council’s Facebook page in March.

The Twitter bot enables users to report incidents of fly tipping, fly posting and dog fouling by finding @WFTellWalt, choosing from a menu of the types of incident and providing the address, which is indicated on a map.

It then asks for a short description and any relevant photos they have taken, and for them to choose from a menu of items that may have been dumped. This is followed by allocating a reference number and asking if they would like to receive updates on the council’s response.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment, said: “Now it’s even easier for residents to work with us and let us know about fly-tipping when it happens in their neighbourhood. It only takes three minutes on your phone or tablet to submit a report – then you can enjoy the day knowing that the council’s team are on the case.

“Our priority is to keep the streets of Waltham Forest clean and green. This innovative new Twitter channel means we can work even more efficiently for the benefit of our residents.”

The council said the Facebook app has been used for more than 500 reports of fly tipping since its launch. It also makes it possible to report incidents through its website.

A spokesperson said there are no plans to extend the use of the bots to other processes in the short term, but that the council will look at their performance and consider the possibilities for the future.

Waltham Forest’s director of digital and IT Paul Neville has previously told UKAuthority that it is aiming to develop interactions through Facebook and Twitter rather than apps as many people are already using the channels.

Image from Waltham Forest Council


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