SacGreenTeam “Binfluencers”

Behavior change doesn’t have to feel like a chore

Waste disposal and the proper sorting of it. Organics, recyclables, hazzardous and bulky waste. There are so many rules that its natural that option fatigue would make someone throw their hands up at it all. And while proper waste disposal is certainly an inevitable responsiibility, there’s no reason it needs to feel like the chore that it is. On top of this, a good habit is one you start early on. I remember as a kid, Captain Planet having a pretty pronounced effect on my generation. Maybe there was a way to put some of that fresh energy to use for Sacramento’s SacGreenTeam, an arm of Sacramento County’s waste disposal service aimed at promoting sensible environmental stewardship at the household level. 

Meet the “Bin fluencers”  

Yeah, its a goofy pun, but I wanted something with a little “bounce” to it since I’d be designing the characters in an almost primary color, school workbook vibe in the best tradition of far better illustrators like Milton Glaser. The Binfluencers would be color-coded to their specific type of waste and be drawn as simple vector illustrations in extreme, towering perspective and funky, bold proportions. And each would be so proud of their positive behavior they pulled out their phones to record the moment.

The other great thing about this approach is that Lottie animations for web were fast becoming a way to deliver high quality, infinitely-scalable animations across a number of channels and device types. The Binfluencers were made for this moment. And they exist everywhere from various social channels (where we saw engagement far beyond what you’d normally expect for a sanitation service) to the Recycle Reboot website where we offered practical tips for conscientious waste reduction and disposal to more commonplace assets like home mailers and fun swag like stickers and coloring pages for kids to help keep them engaged with proper waste handling. 

And using the fun visual language of color-coded illustrations made them universal in a way that really helped when translating their message across the myriad languages present in the Sacramento area. From Spanish to Tagalog, these simple characters reached across cultural differences and really reached people. We used local language translation and education service Language World to help make these characters resonate with an international flavor…

The above scenes were animated by Sacramento’s Noble Creative Collective, who also valiantly handled post on the full spot, seen below…

In fact, they really added something to even the most utilitarian spots on municipal waste and I think that spark of life is really what helped move the needle in some pretty substantial ways for the client.

Resulting in…


Organic recycling growth


Increased awareness for SacGreenTeam

(Sacramento County Recycling Department figures)

Client: SacGreenTeam (Sacramento County)
Year: 2020-2023
Role: Creative/Art Direction, Design, Illustration
Agency: 3fold