Press "Enter" to skip to content

City of New Orleans Announces Successful Recycle Dat! Mardi Gras Recycling Pilot Program

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today announced the overall results from Recycle Dat!, the City’s Mardi Gras recycling pilot program. With the help of Recycle Dat! Coalition partners, the City recycled 1,475 pounds of aluminum (roughly 50,000 cans), 1,500 pounds of glass and 11,535 pounds of Mardi Gras beads and throws.

“The impressive and innovative work of NOLA Ready, Office of Resilience and Sustainability, New Orleans & Company and all of their partner organizations has proven that even the greatest free show on Earth can still be environmentally conscious,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Thank you to the volunteers who generously gave their time to preserve the beauty of our city and build our resilience. Your support moving forward will help us build a better, cleaner, greener and brighter future for New Orleans.”

Recycle Dat!, which was recently featured in the Washington Post, WWNO and The Advocate/, is led by NOLA Ready, the Office of Resilience and Sustainability (ORS) and New Orleans & Company. The pilot program brings together tourism industry partners and local non-profit organizations dedicated to sustainability to expand upon Arc of Greater New Orleans’ (ArcGNO) and Grounds Krewe’s well-established Mardi Gras recycling efforts.

“When we improve quality of life for residents, we know that visitors benefit and their experiences improve as well,” said Walt Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company. “Travelers today are looking for sustainable practices when they choose where to travel, especially to high impact events like Mardi Gras. Environmental Sustainability, especially in the travel industry, is not a trend. It is the right thing to do for our community and a critical component of doing business. New Orleans & Company is committed to sustainability and was pleased to be part of Recycle Dat’s incredible results and look forward to more impact in years to come.”

Over both weekends, 153 volunteers completed approximately 771 volunteer hours, distributing free recycling bags for beads and throws, collecting aluminum cans along the Uptown parade route and supporting four stationary recycling hubs at Sacred Heart Academy, New Orleans & Company, Greater New Orleans Foundation and Gallier Hall to drop off recyclables. The pilot program operated during the day parades on Saturday, Feb. 11, Sunday, Feb. 12, Saturday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 19.

“Mardi Gras brings unparalleled revelry and joy to our city and region,” said Andy Kopplin, President & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “While we may covet the beads and trinkets we collect during the parades, we applaud the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness and the Mayor’s Office of Resilience & Sustainably for creating a vision that lasts beyond the parade route. As the Greater New Orleans Foundation celebrates 100 years of philanthropy, leadership and action, we were proud to serve as a Mardi Gras recycling hub for the NOLA Ready ‘Recycle Dat!’ initiative. We will remain committed to supporting our partners as we work collectively to create a more just and sustainable region for us all.”

ArcGNO will take collected beads and throws and create jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. People work at their Mardi Gras Recycling Center to package and resell carnival throws. ArcGNO has been supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for 67 years, working across five parishes in the region.

As one of the Recycle Dat! Coalition partners, Glass Half Full will recycle collected glass into sand and gravel for coastal restoration, glass beads and more. Glass Half Full was launched in 2020, and since then, they have diverted over 3 million pounds of glass from local landfills. The glass is crushed, sifted and cleaned at their facility in the Desire neighborhood before it is used for coastal restoration, art and many other purposes.

All aluminum cans collected along the Uptown parade route will be driven to EMR Metal Recycling, which will pay market rate for the cans. 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.

For more information on Mardi Gras sustainability, including year-round drop-off sites and krewes that are championing sustainable throws, visit


Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.