What happens when you bring 700 bands and up to 900,000 people together in Milwaukee for 11 magical days of great music, comedy, food and more? First and foremost, you have a blast! But you also generate a lot of trash.

“It’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to further our practices in sustainability,” explains John Boler of Summerfest. “It’s importing for us to manage our waste, and it’s important for us to create effective recycling programs.”

With help from partners like MillerCoors, Solo Cup Company and PepsiCo, Summerfest implemented a massive recycling program, diverting tons of festival waste from the landfill. 

It was a huge, coordinated effort that stretched far beyond traditional recycling bins — and of course there were plenty of those available. In addition to using recyclable Solo Cups, Summerfest organizers provided booths where festivalgoers could pledge to be responsible drinkers.

New to the event were Pepsi Dream Machines, computerized kiosks that not only reward recyclers with points and prizes but also support disabled U.S. veterans. PepsiCo makes a donation to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program for each can or bottle recycled.

In keeping with the fun spirit of the festival, people caught in the act of recycling at Summerfest were eligible for prizes and giveaways. Watch the video to get the inside scoop on this amazing event!

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