Riverwest Block Party - Milwaukee, WI

The 3100 and 3200 blocks of N. Dousman Street in Milwaukee have an annual block party every June. With 60 homes on these blocks and 180 residents, these Riverwesters are ready to have a good time when the warm weather finally arrives in June!

Strategies - Garbage bags are placed next to food and beverage tables for collection of trash and recycling, and these bags are collected by block residents and brought to their personal, residential municipal recycling carts at their house.

Who’s Involved – The Block leader plans event and recruits other block residents to help coordinate. Two additional block residents assist the block leader to advertise to neighbors and organize on the day of the event.

How it Operates - Two residents volunteer every year to be in charge of trash, recycling, and cleanup. Block leader advertises the event, encouraging residents to bring their own plates, silverware, and cups to reduce waste and reuse materials.

Benefits - Block party materials are self-contained from start to finish. No need to hire an outside vendor.

Challenges - There are virtually no challenges here due to the small nature of the event. Recycling is minimal, easily captured and placed in residential recycling carts. Reducing the use of plasticware is the only challenge to making this block party event less wasteful.

Advice - The block leader could increase the use of reusable cups, plates, and other eating accessories by providing an incentive to residents. An example of such an incentive could be that everyone who brings 100% of what they’ll need to eat and drink with will be entered into a raffle prize drawing. Residents could either donate cash or items to the raffle.

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