NEW ORLEANS (press release) – This Carnival season the City of New Orleans is partnering with New Orleans & Company, Grounds Krewe and the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) with support from other non-profits dedicated to resilience and sustainability on the Recycle Dat! initiative to expand upon ArcGNO’s and Grounds Krewe’s well established Carnival recycling efforts.

During the 2022 Carnival season, 1,150 tons of trash associated with Mardi Gras were sent to the landfill in 11 days. With Recycle Dat!, this coalition wants to make Mardi Gras more environmentally sustainable by helping to ease the pressure off our waste management system and decrease the amount of waste sent to the landfill. 

Residents can do their part by taking advantage of the following recycling options: 

  • Four to Five stationary “Recycling Hubs” for cans, beads, & glass collection between Napoleon Ave and Poydras Ave. 
  • Eight to Ten stationary “Can Stations” for aluminum can collection only between Napoleon Ave & Louisiana Ave.
  • Volunteers will distribute bead collection bags ahead of the first day paradeeach day (Feb. 11-12 and 18-19) and follow the last day parade to collect filled bead bags.
  • At the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Mardi Gras ball attendees should look out for the recycling stations that will be collecting beads, used aluminum beverage cans and glass bottles. 

Disclaimer: While the Recycling Hubs will accept empty glass bottles, it’s important to note that glass is not allowed on the parade route (City Ordinance Sect 54-404). We discourage parade goers from using them along the route. 

All aluminum beverage 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 LouisianaLouisiana SPCA, and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity—with CMI doubling the money raised up to the first $5,000. Residents are also encouraged to bring empty used beverage cans to the EMR Metal Recycling Mid-City location at 2525 Lafitte St. where they can be paid via personal check for the value of used cans or donate the amount to the three partner charities. The goal is for CMI’s total $10,000 match opportunity to be fully used, which would mean 500,000 aluminum beverage cans were collected and recycled. 

“Together with Keep Louisiana Beautiful, we are committed to a cleaner Louisiana – not only for the millions of people who visit each year, but also the millions of people who call this great state home. Recycling plays an important role in reducing waste and improving everyone’s quality of life. So support the Recycle Dat! initiative this carnival season and catch or pick-up as many beads as you can so they don’t wind up clogging drains and harming our environment,” said Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.   

“While Carnival is meant to be a time of celebration and indulgence, it doesn’t mean that we can’t make the season healthier for our environment. We’re excited for Mardi Gras and my administration is committed to making the festivities greener and more sustainable,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Thank you to the many generous community groups and volunteers who are stepping forward to lend their time, funding, and expertise to this exciting new initiative.” 

“New Orleans annually puts on the greatest free show on earth…and for the longest time, the city would determine the success of Mardi Gras by the amount of trash collected along the route,” said Walt Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company. “Producing and executing complex events is a specialty of ours here in New Orleans. This coalition of organizations working together to introduce initiatives like this one is another example of how we continue to become a more innovative city and represents why we are built to host special events like no other place on the planet.” 

“Grounds Krewe is proud to see parade recycling efforts grow this year with new partners and expanded reach under the Recycle Dat! initiative,” said Brett Davis, Director of Grounds Krewe. “We appreciate the growing calls from residents and visitors to reduce the amount of waste created during Carnival and make our city’s highest profile event something to which we can all be proud.” 

While increasing recycling efforts is the focus of this initiative, do not forget about the importance of sustainable throws. Grounds Krewe continues to be at the forefront of Mardi Gras sustainability innovation by designing, assembling and selling affordable, eco-friendly parade throws meant to displace imported, disposable, plastic offerings often left in the streets. 

The NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps needs your help! The Corps is supporting several different operations throughout the Mardi Gras season including Recycle Dat!, special needs Mardi Gras balls, canvassing St. Charles Avenue and to work at First Aid stations. You can sign up to become a volunteer on the NOLA Ready website here

To learn more about Recycle Dat! please visit ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras/recycling/