Over the past year, you may have noticed recycling bins, stations and booths popping up at various New Orleans events. The group REALCYCLE is on a mission to help New Orleans event organizers, businesses and residents recycle everything from the usual aluminum, cardboard and plastic, to glass and even compostables.
Since launching in January 2022, the group has had stations and booths at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, YLC’s Wednesday’s at the Square and Bayou Bougaloo. In April, REALCYCLE began community recycling days at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market’s Sunday market at City Park Conservatory outside of Ted Gormley Stadium.
Last weekend, the hubby and I dropped off a grocery bag filled with glass and took a lap around the market to grab fresh potatoes and blueberries. It couldn’t have been easier or a more pleasant way to kill two birds with one stone. My track record with composting at home has been rife with mishaps, but with an option of keeping food scrapes in the freezer all week and dropping them in REALCYCLE’s compostables bin at the market, I feel confident about getting back into the game, albeit without the rich soil at the end of the effort. But, it’s a small price to pay for knowing the scraps are going to good use.
(Note: According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, compostables include “most fruit and vegetables scraps, coffee grounds and paper filters, crushed eggshells, paper tea bags (without staples) and crushed eggshells. Avoid citrus fruits, odorous foods like onions and garlic, meat, dairy products, greasy foods, bones and pet waste. Chop up scraps into small pieces before adding them to the bin to allow for faster decomposition.”)
If you’d like to take advantage of the community recycling days, especially for glass, which the City of New Orleans has yet to bring back into its recycling services, here are the details:
REALCYCLE’s Public Recycling Station
What: Aluminum, glass, cardboard and food waste
When: Sundays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Tad Gormley Stadium, City Park
With groups like REALCYCLE, Glass Half Full, Grounds Krewe (which many will be familiar with from Mardi Gras), the Green Project and others that may not be on my radar (please email me if that’s you), there are now a slew of ways for us to keep things out of the landfill and I’m here for it.
If you want to talk composting or recycling tips and tricks, tell me about your recycling company or service (or one you love) or share a screed about how challenging it is to haul your own to a station, email me at email@example.com.