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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:


  • 4 stationary “Recycling Hubs” for cans, beads, & glass collection between Napoleon Ave and Poydras Ave.
    • Sacred Heart Academy, St. Charles Ave & Napoleon Ave
    • New Orleans & Company, St. Charles Ave & Josephine St
    • Greater New Orleans Foundation, St. Charles Ave & Harmony Circle
    • Gallier Hall, St. Charles Ave & Lafayette St
  • 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.


  • 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.

View the Recycling map

Volunteer with us during Mardi Gras.

Volunteers who sign up to assist with a 3-hour Recycle Dat Hub shift (shifts on Feb. 11, 12, 18, & 19) during Mardi Gras will receive ALL the following: 

  • Recycle Dat T-Shirt  

  • “Recycle Something, Mister” OR “Recycle Something Sister” Fanny Pack

  • Biodegradable glitter sample  

  • BOGO drink vouchers from one of 8 supporting local breweries:

    • Abita Brewery, Parleaux Beer Labs, Skeeta Hawk, NOLA Brewery, MIEL Brewery, Urban South Brewery, Port Orleans Brewing, & Faubourg Brewery  

  • Sense of fulfillment in helping to make Mardi Gras more sustainable. 

Sign-Up to Volunteer Here

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.
  • 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. 

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 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 Can Manufacturers' Institute 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

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


1705 Viola St., Mandeville 


40201 Highway 190 East, Slidell

Any St. Tammany District 1 Fire Station (Slidell)

Station 11 (322 Bouscaren Street)

Station 12 (1570 West Hall Avenue)

Station 13 (530 Robert Blvd.)

Station 14 (297 Steele Road)

Station 15 (58405 Holly Drive)

Station 16 (320 Marina Drive)

Station 17 (309 Johnny F. Smith Blvd.)

Station 18 (61735 Airport Road)

Shout out to these sustainable krewes.

Krewe of Muses: ReMUSEable Throws

Since its inception, Muses has emphasized usable (reMUSEable!) throws. From soap to earbuds, socks to water bottles, luggage tags to pens and notebooks, bandanas to scarves, Muses is a leader in throws that are functional and exciting for the crowds. Muses throws are cherished, worn, and displayed throughout the year, rather than being discarded to clog drains or landfills.

Of course, the iconic and upcycled shoe, which was originally an homage to the Zulu coconut, is a perfect example of reuse. Many of the Muses tote bags, pencil bags, and cosmetic bags are actually made from recycled materials.

This year’s re-MUSEable throws include a knit beanie, a woven tea towel with Goddessey artwork, a compact mirror with a special and empowering message, a notebook with 3D cover artwork featuring rider-made shoes, a light-up scrunchie, and the third in the cocktail napkin series. Riders will also be throwing a pendant designed by local artist Thomas Mann. Of course, there are many more.

Krewe of Iris 

Since soaring to Super Krewe status over the past 10 years, the Krewe of Iris has focused their throw designs on what children and adults would want to keep, use and cherish for years to come. Being a day parade and a family friendly parade you will find the ladies throwing items ranging from tutus and capes for kids to baseball hats, pickle ball sets, Fanny packs, socks, gloves, contact cases, travel fans, insulted cups and bottles, reusable straws, visors, branded sunglasses, head bands, just to name a few.

The Krewe of Iris was the first Krewe to source branded throw packages from Grounds Krewe in 2021. The Krewe of Iris takes this commitment to sustainability very seriously by offering our members the opportunity to do their part in reducing waste in Mardi Gras directly through us. They continue to offer these packages to our members and led the way for other Krewes to do the same. 

Being a day parade it is only natural that our signature throw is hand decorated sunglasses - often upcycled by members and cherished by all who receive them. This signature throw is particularly special since they can actual be worn by those who are lucky enough to catch them!

Krewe of Rex


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: