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The City of New Orleans

Mardi Gras

In 2022, 1,150 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 each year.

The City of New Orleans is partnering with several local organizations to make Mardi Gras more sustainable.  Help do your part to keep trash off of the streets, out of the drainage system, and away from the landfill.

Recycle along the route.

Recycling volunteers will be distributing free collection bags for Mardi Gras beads along the Uptown parade route on St. Charles Avenue from Napoleon Avenue to Poydras Avenue during the Uptown day parades on February 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th.  Residents can help do their part to ease the pressure off our waste stream system by taking advantage of the following recycling options:

YOU COME TO US

  • 4-5 stationary “Recycling Hubs” for cans, beads, & glass collection between Napoleon Ave and Poydras Ave.
  • 8-10 stationary “Can Stations” for aluminum can collection only between Napoleon Ave & Louisiana Ave.
  • Convention Center to collect beads, cans, & glass from Mardi Gras ball attendees.

WE COME TO YOU

  • Volunteers will distribute bead collection bags ahead of the 1st day parade each day (Feb 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th) and follow the last day parade to collect filled bead bags.

Check back later for a list and map of all recycling hubs and can stations.

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. More information on Recycle Dat can be found here
  • Special Needs Mardi Gras Balls - Help make Mardi Gras more accessible by volunteering to staff Disability-forward Mardi Gras Balls with NORDC and People First of NOLA. 
  • Canvassing along St. Charles Ave - Spread awareness of resources along the route by distributing posters to local businesses and vendors on St. Charles.
  • 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

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 three local charities—Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Louisiana SPCA, and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity—with Can Manufacturers' Institute doubling the money raised 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 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

    • 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

ArcGNO Uptown Community Center

1771 Nashville Ave.

Whole foods UPTOWN

5600 Magazine St.

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

ArcGNO WESTWEGO Community Center

333 Sala Ave., Westwego

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

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 ready@nola.gov with your krewe’s logo and short description and/or photos of the throws.

Recycle Dat Partners: