Cleanaway is Australia’s largest waste management company.

Providing the complete range of waste management services, the company operates over 4,950 trucks from more than 300 branches nationwide.

Noting issues with Central Coast residents and their disposal patterns, Cleanaway’s coastal faction, 1Coast, sought to trial a new recycling campaign, complemented by e-learning content to engage children from a young age. But how do you change the habits of people who don’t know or care which bin to use? Easy.

Don’t shame. Entertain.

Animation Campaign

With many employees working hard behind the scenes to sort dirty nappies and other general waste from the recycling, Cleanaway wanted educational digital pieces to inspire empathy. Commencing the project with a creative consultation workshop, the company identified challenging community responses to previous 1Coast communications — promotions had been too long, or too dull, or too dated, or received as antagonistic.

With this in mind, the concept was proposed to create a series of short, comedic animations. By personifying bins with human characteristics, we could embody the issues experienced by Cleanaway’s sorting staff, without making residents feel bad.

Proposing multiple illustration and comedy styles — sketchy and silly, colourful and character-based, quirky and quick cuts — the final style was developed in collaboration with 1Coast, Cleanaway and Central Coast Council representatives.

After internal brainstorming, scripts and accompanying storyboards were developed to help the client visualise animation humour and gain approval from Council before proceeding. Detailing the yellow, red and green bins in ordinary and extraordinary situations, settings range from the front yard, to a game show, to a campfire, to a comedy special.

Operating concurrently, our design and video teams worked together on digital illustration and editing, identifying effective processes to animate. Highly collaborative from start to finish, storylines, illustrations and videos entailed cross-review at all stages to ensure effective communication of key messages.

Keep your street neat

A basic guide to keeping your curb clean. Whatever you do, don’t be a Barry about it.


To capitalise on the success of these characters and animations, 1Coast then requested two separate learning modules — one for Years K-6 and one for Years 7-12 — and a custom landing page for Central Coast schools to access.

Intended to educate children and teenagers about how to recycle from a young age, e-learning content and quiz questions comprised simple language and broad use of the established Cleanaway bin characters and animations.

Developed in close collaboration by our copywriters, designers and web developers, e-learning content was housed on a landing page within the organisation’s website. Built using Adobe Captivate, the digital e-learning module featured animated bin reactions, interactive quiz elements — such as multiple choice questions and drag and drop sorting activities — and friendly, engaging voice over.

While the high school module includes options for correct and incorrect responses, the primary school module always prompts users to choose the correct option, showering the screen in confetti once done. This ensures younger students all receive the same information about recycling, while making online learning an exciting and positive experience.

Each module concludes with a celebratory customisable certificate of completion, certifying each participant as a Qualified Garbologist.

Animated Videos

The very merry guide to holiday waste disposal

Easy waste disposal tips for Coasties to be more environmentally friendly at Christmas.

A real dumpster fire

Simple and to the point, this video outlines the dangers of bin and truck fires.

Nappy nightmares

Know where the nappies go. A full red bin doesn’t make the yellow bin a solution.

Don’t be a Barry

Transforming the human character into a nondescript figure — Barry — this animation uses a game show format to draw out suspense and comedy.

Recycling isn’t that scary

Treating recycling as a campfire fable, this animation recounts the terrible horrors one yellow bin has lived through.

It won’t close!

If you can’t close it, Cleanaway can’t take it. Think carefully before putting your green bin out.

A bin walks into a bar…

Playing on stand-up tropes, this video uses comedic frustration to make a point.

We have been working with The Being Group for the last few months on developing some 2D animations for our 1Coast Education Programs on the NSW Central Coast. They listened to our brief and created humorous videos that people can relate to with recycling, managing waste and using bins. They were very easy to work with, listened to our ideas and offered suggestions for how we may execute them. We would highly recommend them.

Michelle Murrell
Education Officer: Central Coast, Cleanaway

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