Bringing a community together to revolutionise waste.

Australia’s recycling crisis has hit local governments hard — rubbish is mounting, and fewer and fewer places are willing to take it. Yarra, an inner-Melbourne city council, is trailing a new approach to tackle this head-on. To support this revolutionary change, we created the Yarra Waste Revolution campaign.

Aesthetically, we wanted the direction to feel engrained at a community level— representative of so many historic grassroots movements. A handmade display typography and use of bespoke illustrations delivered this DIY aesthetic, connoting that this revolution was part of us, the community. This was reinforced through consistent use of the first-person plural across communications. A further central element to the visual tool kit was the ‘revolution logotype’, a circular typographic lockup, seamlessly integrating of the City of Yarra logo, as required.


In the first two months of the trial, the City of Yarra has already saved almost 10 tonnes of food and green waste from ending up in landfill, and locally recycled nearly 5 tonnes of paper, plastic, and metals.

Early evaluation shows that:

  • 96% of trial residents are sorting waste right.

  • 81% of trial respondents knew about the revolution before it began.

  • 89% of trial respondents are supportive of the new waste service.

Client City of Yarra
Agency Ellis Jones
Year 2019

Illustrations  Elise Hanscamp
Louise Jacobsen


“Some excellent creative thinking which had a real impact – others could learn from this case study which is particularly relevant in today’s environment.”

— IABC 2020 Gold Quill Awards