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The City of New Orleans

Mardi Gras

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Recycle Along the Route Recycle Cans for Charity Other Ways to Recycle Throws


In 2023, 1,162 tons of Mardi Gras trash were transported to the landfill in just 11 days.  In other words, that's 2.5 millions pounds of waste.


The City of New Orleans in partnership with New Orleans & Company, Grounds Krewe, and several local organizations launched a pilot program in 2023 to make Mardi Gras more sustainable.  With the help of the Recycle Dat Coalition partners, the City recycled 1,475 pounds of aluminum, 1,500 pounds of glass, and 11,535 pounds of Mardi Gras beads and throws during the 2023 Carnival Season.  Help us by doing your part to make Mardi Gras more sustainable. 

Recycle along the route.

Recycling hubs will be open along the Uptown parade route between Chestnut St & Napoleon Ave and Harmony Circle & St. Charles Ave during the DAY PARADES ONLY.  Residents can help do their part to ease the pressure off our waste stream system by taking advantage of the following recycling options:

  • 6 stationary “Recycling Hubs” for cans, beads, & glass collection between Napoleon Ave & Prytania St. and Harmony Circle & St. Charles Ave on Saturday, February 3rd; Sunday, February 4th;  Saturday, February 10th; and Sunday, February 11th:
    • Napoleon & Chestnut, open 10 AM until 5 PM (managed by REALCYCLE)
    • Napoleon & St. Charles, open 10:30 AM until 5:30 PM (managed by Grounds Krewe)
    • Foucher & St. Charles, open 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM (managed by The Green Project)
    • 6th St & St. Charles, open 11:30 AM until 6:30 PM (managed by Glass Half Full
    • St. Andrew & St. Charles, open 12:00 PM until 7:00 PM (managed by Osprey Initiative)
    • Harmony Circle & St. Charles, open 12:30 PM until 7:30 PM (managed by NOLACans4Food)
  • The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will continue to recycle Mardi Gras beads at the parade parties for Endymion, Bacchus and Orpheus.  They are partnering with REALCYCLE to do recycling and bead collection, and the beads will be delivered to ARC of Greater New Orleans.


View the Recycling map

Volunteer with us during Mardi Gras.

The NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps is supporting several different operations throughout the Mardi Gras season, including:

  • Recycle Dat - Join our pilot Mardi Gras recycling program. Volunteers will distribute bead recycling bags and staff recycling hubs along the route during weekend day parades. 
    • Volunteers will receive a free Recycle Dat t-shirt and vouchers to local breweries for their efforts.
  • First Aid Stations - Join New Orleans EMS, the New Orleans Health Department, and American Red Cross in bringing basic first aid and crowd assistance to the parade route. Volunteers must have a current Basic Life Support certification or higher. 

Sign-Up to Volunteer Here


Every Can Counts Mardi Gras Contest

Enter to win a $200 gift card to one of the top dining locations in the French Quarter – Brennan’s Restaurant or a sustainability minded restaurant of your choice. Participants will also be entered into daily giveaways on Feb. 3-4 and Feb. 10-11 for the potential to win a $20 gift card to Urban South Brewery in New Orleans.

To enter:

  1. Follow @everycancountsus on Instagram
  2. Share a photo of you recycling during the Mardi Gras parades on either Feb. 3-4 or Feb. 10-11 to your Instagram stories tagging @everycancountsus
  3. Once you follow and share, comment on any of our contest posts with “everycancounts” to enter. 

Four winners will be randomly selected each day to receive a $20 gift card to Urban South Brewery and will be notified by 5 p.m. CT. One Grand Prize winner will receive a $200 gift card to Brennan’s restaurant, which will be announced on Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day).

Official contest rules will be posted on the website.

Recycle aluminum cans to support local charities

  • All aluminum cans collected along the Uptown parade route will be driven to EMR Metal Recycling, which will pay market rate for the cans and then the revenue generated will be given to local charities, with Every Can Counts doubling the money raised along the route up to the first $5,000. 

  • In addition to cans collected along the parade route, community members are encouraged to bring empty used beverage cans - with Every Can Counts doubling the funds up to the first $5,000 (separate from the route matching funds) - to the EMR Metal Recycling Mid-City location (2525 Lafitte Street) for one of the following options:

    • Get paid via personal check for the value of the used beverage cans (terms and conditions apply)

    • Donate the value to one of the three partner charities

Aluminum Can Fast Facts:

  • Making an aluminum beverage can from recycled aluminum reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent compared to using primary aluminum.10

  • The average aluminum beverage can manufactured in the United States contains 73 percent recycled content.4

  • You can power a TV for three hours from the energy saved by recycling one aluminum beverage can.9

  • The energy saved from recycling all (100%) aluminum cans could power 4.1 million homes for a full year.5

Donate unwanted items after the parades are over.

The City’s Department of Sanitation collects beads at its Recycling Drop Off Center held on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2829 Elysian Fields Avenue.

For over 30 years,ArcGNO has created wage-earning jobs for individuals with intellectual disabilities by collecting, sorting, and repackaging Mardi Gras throws. The Arc accepts donations of beads, trinkets, and stuffed animals year round. Here is a list of ArcGNO drop-off sites:

Orleans Parish

glass half full

3935 Louisa St.

(Mon/Wed/Sat only)

ArcGNO Uptown Community Center

1771 Nashville Ave.

New Orleans public library locations

All 14 New Orleans Public Library locations will be bead recycling sites for ArcGNO between Monday, January 29 until Friday, March 1 during normal operating hours. 

Find the nearest NOLA Library location HERE.

New Orleans Sanitation Department*

2829 Elysian Fields Ave

(Drop-off available only on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, 8am - 1pm)

Jefferson Parish

ArcGNO Metairie Community Center

925 Labarre Rd., Metairie

Jefferson Parish Sanitation Department

400 David Dr., Metairie

Jefferson Parish Sanitation (Westbank)

6440 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero

Other Parishes

ARCGNO Chalmette Community Center

3700 Jean Lafitte Pkwy., Chalmette

ArcGNO Northshore Community Center

106 E. 25th Ave., Covington

Shout out to these sustainable krewes.


ricRACK plays a major part in growing the next generation’s artistry, independence, and environmental consciousness – stitch by stitch. Before ricRACK, no organization in New Orleans was focused on waste reduction and skill building with textiles and we’re excited to extend that mission into helping create a more sustainable Mardi Gras. In addition to hosting Costume Carnival workshops, we've partnered with a few local designers, sewists and krewes to create throws repurposed from textiles. We're utilizing off-cuts from old rider tunics to make artist designed throws putting the focus on making sure things are saved because they’re special, not tossed after a parade. The repurposed throws project is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council.


Join the Initiative

Are you a part of a Mardi Gras krewe focusing more on sustainable throws? Tell us more about your krewe’s efforts during Mardi Gras to be highlighted on the NOLA Ready webpage and social media accounts.

Email us at with your krewe’s logo and short description and/or photos of the throws

Recycle Dat Partners: