Now that Carnival season is officially over, and all of the various beads and trinkets have been thrown, what do you do with the throws that you just don’t have room for?
Luckily, there are several organizations that have been working tirelessly to recycle unwanted beads. Both Arc of Greater New Orleans and Young Leadership Council have collected beads directly after parades. Now, eleven New Orleans Public Library branches have partnered with ArcGNO to collect unwanted Mardi Gras beads post-Carnival.
Here’s a list of all of the participating libraries that have donation bins for beads:
- Algiers Regional Library
- Alvar Library
- Children’s Resource Center Library
- East New Orleans Regional Library
- Hubbell Library
- Rosa Keller Library & Community Center
- Latter Library
- Main Library
- Norman Mayer Library
- Mid-City Library
- Smith Library
ArcGNO collects Mardi Gras beads, trinkets, and stuffed animals year-round at its Uptown community center, which is located at 1771 Nashville Avenue. It also has donation zones at the Whole Foods in West Riverside; Mardi Gras World in the Lower Garden District; and the Green Project in the Bywater. For more locations, including those outside of Orleans Parish, visit ArcGNO’s official website.
While there are several efforts to recycle beads, there has been growing support on the Internet ban them. Earlier this week, Curbed NOLA reported on a Care2 petition with nearly 15,000 supporters that wants the city to ban Mardi Gras beads. Its organizers are most concerned about the toxic materials found in the beads and the reported 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads found clogging catch basins earlier this year.
“Like many in the community, ArcGNO is committed to reducing the environmental impact of Mardi Gras,” said Stephen Sauer, the executive director for Arc of Greater New Orleans. “Beads clogging storm drains or being disposed of in our landfills is a problem that we all should work together to mitigate. That’s why we have been extremely encouraged by the enthusiastic response of the community to our recycling efforts, including our recent pilot with [Young Leadership Council] to collect beads directly along the parade route.”