Key Dates

30 November 2023 - Launch Deadline
14 March - Standard Deadline
13 June - Extended Deadline
21 June - Judging
10 July - Winners Announced

Project Overview

The Mitcham and Blackburn Bin Signage Project encourages residents and visitors to dispose of their litter responsibly to protect the environment and quality of life in these two communities in Melbourne’s east. Sixteen eye-catching poster designs feature on 30 bins in local shopping precincts, with two posters in each bin.

The project builds on and complements an award-winning campaign in the neighbouring Box Hill area in 2021, which Keep Victoria Beautiful praised for ‘evoking a sense of pride of where you live’. While similar in style, the new project creates entirely new designs that amplify local elements of the Mitcham and Blackburn communities.

Project Commissioner

Whitehorse City Council

Project Creator

Cheee Creative

Project Brief

The project takes a uniquely local approach to litter management, encouraging pride of place. Depicting local scenes and wildlife in the designs, we give the community a sense of ownership over the protection of their local environment. This is reinforced by positive messages such as Love Your Park and Love Where You Live, rather than the blunt Don’t Litter warnings used in many campaigns around the world.

Our inclusive approach mirrors Whitehorse City Council’s extensive work with the local community to reduce waste and litter, which has resulted in 51% of kerbside waste being diverted from landfill in recent years. The designs reflect community concerns about litter and its impact on local waterways and parklands.

Looking to the future, the council is mindful of the waste challenge as the population grows, with an increase in medium and higher-density living posing a potential threat to local habitats. The posters aim to foster community pride in the area’s many lifestyle amenities so that people will work together to keep their environment clean and beautiful.

The campaign uses clean, simple designs to convey these messages. The stylized illustrations of local scenes are friendly and inviting, while bold colors help the designs stand out from other shopping center advertising.

In addition, the project recognizes the cultural diversity of the area, where 40% of residents are born overseas, by using subtle variations in skin tones.

Project Innovation/Need

It’s the local references that set this campaign apart. Residents connect with the designs, knowing they have been created specifically for the Mitcham and Blackburn communities. The project focuses on an area of less than 13 square kilometers, highlighting how focused and intimate a campaign can be.

The Love Where You Live poster features Schwerkolt Cottage, a historic museum complex established 140 years ago and set in more than two hectares of bushland. One of the Love Your Park posters depicts Yarran Dheran Nature Reserve in Mitcham, which is part of one of the largest pockets of dry sclerophyll forest remaining in urban Melbourne. Another showcases Blackburn Lake, one of the few significant remaining natural bushland reserves in Melbourne and the council area’s most well-known bushland park.

Plant and wildlife species common to the area also feature in the designs, including wattle and eucalypts. The use of cherry blossom in the Love Where You Live posters reflects the council’s long-standing sister city relationship with Matsudo in Japan, whose annual cherry blossom festival attracts more than 400,000 visitors. The design of this poster harmonizes with existing signage outside the Blackburn train and other local amenities that use cherry blossom imagery.

Kookaburras, superb fairy-wrens, Krefft’s gliders, and chestnut teal ducks also take center stage in the designs, highlighting the precious local assets that will benefit people acting responsibly when disposing of their litter.

Design Challenge

The project addresses several design challenges. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is that despite decades of mass advertising, litter remains an enormous global issue, suggesting current messages aren’t cutting through. Figures vary but government analysis suggests well over 20% of people in Australia litter.

By using images of local attractions and wildlife, we gently remind people what’s at stake in the war on litter. A superb fairy wren with a bottle cap in its beak and a chestnut teal duck paddling past a discarded bottle highlight what can happen when we don’t throw our rubbish in the bins provided.

Another design challenge is that the posters have a much longer lifespan than standard advertising collateral. Our posters need to stand the test of time for at least five years. They need to look modern, clean, crisp and relevant, both now and in a 2029 design landscape.

The end product is a series of designs that are contemporary and simple but which have little risk of becoming dated, even as design techniques continue to rapidly evolve. The posters also serve as a visual device to brighten up the local area and reinforce Mitcham and Blackburn as great places to live, work and play.


The effectiveness of the campaign lies in its strong connections to the community. This creates emotional responses in people that make it more likely they will responsibly dispose of their litter. It cuts through where many litter messages are often overlooked or simply screened out.

First and foremost, the campaign builds a sense of community pride and a desire among residents to protect their local environment. It localizes a global issue, reminding people what’s at stake in the war on litter in their own backyard. It inspires people to action.

The campaign also advertises to locals and visitors the many benefits of living in the Mitcham and Blackburn areas. It highlights the neighborhood’s unique environmental qualities and subtly encourages residents to make use of the parks and amenities on their doorstep, for their long-term health and well-being.

This award celebrates creativity and innovation in the intersection of communication design and the built environment, and is concerned with the visual aspects of wayfinding, communication identity and brands, information design and shaping the idea of place. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching of information style to audience.
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