Near-Zero Waste

The core of Rock the Green’s mission is the production of a large scale event with near-zero waste (NZW). Here’s why Rock the Green is a concert like no other – and what we’re doing differently.

On Site Production



Veolia Environmental Services will oversee all recycling and composting operations at the festival. Veolia volunteers will aid attendees at the Near-Zero Waste Stations. This Near-Zero Waste Team will oversee the waste reclamation stations, helping attendees to properly sort into composting or recycling bins. Four bins will capture the bulk of the waste: Compostables, Food and Organic, Mixed Recyclables, and Trash. Trash bins will only be used for things that attendees have brought from home. Everything provided at the festival is either recyclable or compostable!

Several new recycling practices are being launched at Rock the Green. Working in partnership with Veolia, a new color-coded, easy to understand graphic labeling program will also help attendees sort their trash. Veolia’s Single Stream Recycling will allow attendees to place recyclables in a single bin which is then sorted using high tech machinery at a materials recovery facility.

InSinkErator will supply stainless steal sink units with commercial disposers for food leftovers. Once ground in the disposals this waste is transported by Veolia Environmental Services to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) where they are turned into an organic fertilizer that will be used to keep Veterans Park beautiful. Learn more here.



Your ticket to Rock the Green includes a recyclable, BPA-free, reusable water bottle. Free, fresh water stations using filtered municipal water will be located throughout the event and no plastic water bottles will be sold. Employees of Badger Meter have volunteered their time to pour water during the event from these water stations.



Rock the Green will be powered by a combination of 100% B20 biodiesel generators, solar and bicycle power.

Light emitting diode (LED) products are being used to minimize the energy consumption of stage lighting and to power the video screen. After sundown, LED lights will be provided by Clearwing Productions to minimize energy consumption, while Rayovac will provide LED lanterns for ambient lighting. Rock the Green volunteers and security staff will be using LED flashlights to navigate the festival

Aggreko will provide the festival with generators that are fueled by bio-diesel to help power the stages and interactive areas. All the bio-deisel is provided by U.S. Venture.

New this year, the sound and lights for the Koss Pedal Power Stage will be powered by bicycle pedal power supplied by Power by the People.



Carpooling, public transportation and bicycling are all encouraged- and rewarded.

A free bike valet is available for fans who come down to Rock the Green on their bikes. Free bike tune-ups are also available at a free bike valet managed by Milwaukee Bicycle Collective.

The Milwaukee County Parks will offer a discounted parking rate of $5.00 to those who carpool with four or more people to the festival. Regular parking is $15.

New this year, an online ride-share program through is one option that festival goers have to reduce emissions. If you need a ride or can give a ride, it is carpool central!

Event Merchandise, Food and Product Sourcing          


Rock the Green will utilize a paperless ticket system through a partnership with Eventbrite. Rock the Green will offer exclusive express entry to those fans who present their confirmations on their smartphone.

Event keepsakes include upcycled t-shirts made from recycled Goodwill inventory and sold for just $10. Rock the Green will also sell its signature organic cotton t-shirts on-site. Rock the Green even sources eco-friendly credentials and lanyards for VIP, sponsors and the bands.

Food vendors will be sourcing ingredients from local farms and co-ops and all vendors will use compostable serveware. Campus Kitchens Project of Marquette University will recover usable food from the festival and prepare it for local non-profit organizations that serve the hungry.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) banner material, donated by Big Systems (print) and HP Eco-Solutions (HP) (material), will reduce the carbon footprint of the signage by more than 80 percent. Rock the Green reuses as much of the signage as possible. Big Systems coordinates eco-friendly printing on their machinery and recycles all of the signage that cannot be reused through HP’s large format sign take-back program.  And, during the festival, no paper brochures or flyers will be distributed by organizers, exhibitors, or vendors.

Overall Operations

The Rock the Green team is proud of the sustainable practices used in the planning of the music festival and the day-to-day business of our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. From limiting the use of printed material, virtual meetings and encouraging the use of electronic media, Rock the Green’s directors and many volunteers strive to incorporate the 3 R’s into work habits.

Metrics that Matter

Best practices, metrics and other statistics documenting Rock the Green’s sustainability results will be shared publicly after the event for all to use. See last year’s results here.

Rock the Green has earned
the Travel Green Wisconsin Certification
for sustainability practices and as a green destination.