The Sesquicentennial Celebration took place in South Bend over Memorial Day weekend. It was a bit different from other community events. It was a one-time event, bigger than previous events, largely free, and offered something for everyone. Despite the size and scope, the Office of Sustainability worked to make it more sustainable than other events. To assist with this, the South Bend Office of Sustainability developed a Zero Waste Event Planning Guide and has worked with event organizers to plan and implement SB150 events with less waste.
To keep impact at a minimum, the following are zero waste event initiatives:
- To reduce waste sent to the landfill, recycling, food waste, and landfill bins were placed throughout the event;
- “Waste Watcher” volunteers were stationed at key areas across the event campus to help people put landfill items, recycling, and food waste in the proper bins;
- Culver Duck created fuel from food waste collected at the event;
- Jamil Packaging, Welch Packaging, and Waste Away Group donated the cardboard bins placed around the event campus to collect items;
- Republic Recycling is providing FREE dumpsters and hauling for all the SB150 single stream recycling and cardboard collected from the event;
- Taste of South Bend vendors were asked to put forth their best effort to support Zero Waste efforts by serving food in recyclable or compostable items and collecting food waste;
- Bicycle parking was at every entrance, and SB150 lead organizer Aaron Perri insisted, "It will be easier to bike to the event than to drive!";
- Remote parking was available with FREE bus shuttle service provided by Transpo's new Compressed Natural Gas fueled buses;
- Free bus service was available all day throughout the city on Saturday May 23, making it easier to use sustainable transportation options all over town;
- The fuel running the generators in the Taste of South Bend area was biodiesel, producing fewer air pollutants and greenhouse gases than petroleum-based diesel.
- Canney's Water Solutions, EcoWater, Fleet Feet Sports, EmNet, and the Office of Sustainability provided free water bottle filling stations at the Taste of South Bend and in Howard Park to help reduce plastic water bottle consumption.
- Water bottle filling was also be provided by South Bend Brew Werks on Seitz Park;
- On “South Bend Drive” the historic experience did more with less. For example, there were printed take-away materials, and there was be a focus on digital methods of feedback. Guests were encouraged to provide contributions for carbon offsets through organizations such as Carbon Fund;
- An SB150 app was created for download to a smartphone or tablet to access features, schedules, and more.