2019 Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative Details Announced!

YLC and ArcGNO are excited to announce details about the 2019 Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative, including route information, dates, and volunteer information.

Young Leadership Council and Arc of Greater New Orleans bring recycling back to Uptown parade route

Recycling efforts to take place Feb. 16, Feb. 23, and March 2

NEW ORLEANS, LA – February 5, 2019 – Coming off a successful pilot program for the 2018 Carnival season, Young Leadership Council (YLC), through its YLC Recycles project, and Arc of Greater New Orleans (ArcGNO), are bringing back the Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative February 23 and March 2.

The 2019 Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative will include volunteers from both organizations who will distribute bags for recycling waste and beads to parade goers along a portion of the Uptown route prior to the start of the first parade each day. Bags will be distributed from Magazine St. down Napoleon Ave., and on St. Charles Ave. down to Jackson Ave.

On February 23, YLC and ArcGNO are asking businesses located on parade route to “adopt” a recycling station, amplifying the Initiative’s impact that day. YLC and ArcGNO are seeking partners who will provide space for a recycling station and recruit volunteers to manage their station during the parade. Interested organizations should contact YLC Recycles at recycles@ylcnola.org.

On Saturday, February 16, volunteers from YLC Recycles will staff x-frame recycling receptacles along the Krewe du Vieux parade route to collect aluminum, plastic, and paper recyclables only.

The City of New Orleans estimates that sanitation workers collect nearly 900 tons of garbage during a typical parade season. Beyond their goal of reducing that number this year, YLC and ArcGNO will evaluate and refine the Initiative to expand its impact in future years. In 2018, from a single day of parades, the Initiative kept 10,000 aluminum cans, 2,000 plastic bottles, and 1.25 tons of beads out of Louisiana landfills and catch-basins.

“The 2018 Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative was an incredible success and demonstrated YLC’s mission in action,” said Stephanie Powell, Executive Director of Young Leadership Council. “Our young professionals recognized a problem that needed solving and brought their vision and leadership to bear to find a solution. This recycling program, spearheaded by YLC Recycles, represents just one way that YLC members are leading in our community”

“We are so excited to team up with ArcGNO once again for this year’s Initiative,” said Rachel Skowyra, YLC Recycles Project Leader. “The immense community support we received last year on the route was an inspiring reminder of what we can achieve when we work together.”

The Initiative’s efforts add to the success of one of ArcGNO’s social enterprises, its Mardi Gras Recycle Center. Throughout the year the center, which employs those with Down syndrome, autism or some other intellectual disability, collects parade throws that are sorted and re-packaged for resale.

“We were very pleased with the results of the Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative in 2018 and look forward to an even bigger Initiative this year,” explained Dr. Stephen Sauer, Executive Director of Arc of Greater New Orleans. “At ArcGNO, our motto is ‘We turn beads into jobs.’ The more we collect, the more people we can employ. Working with YLC Recycles is a true win-win; together we help reduce trash in the city, while furthering our mission to provide jobs to those with intellectual disabilities.”

How To Get Involved

YLC and ArcGNO are seeking more than 200 volunteers to staff recycling stations along the parade routes and to help distribute and collect bags from parade-goers. Organizations that are interested in “adopting” a recycling station along the route on February 23 should contact recycles@ylcnola.org. To volunteer and view route information, visit ylcnola.org/mardigras.

Parade-goers should look for volunteers wearing lime green vests distributing recycling bags along the route: purple mesh bags for recycling beads and transparent bags for plastic, aluminum, and paper recyclables. The public is asked to drop off bags at designated recycling stations on the route, or along the curb, which will then be collected by volunteers following the Krewe of Freret parade on February 23 and the Krewe of Tucks parade on March 2.

About Young Leadership Council & YLC Recycles

Young Leadership Council is a New Orleans-based nonprofit organization dedicated to developing young professionals into leaders through community service projects. YLC Recycles is a volunteer-led community service project of Young Leadership Council. The project’s mission is to provide on-site event recycling services and promote recycling education and awareness in the New Orleans community. Learn more about YLC and YLC Recycles at www.ylcnola.org

About Arc of Greater New Orleans

Since 1953, Arc of Greater New Orleans has been committed to securing for all people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to develop, function, and live to their fullest potential. Recycling Mardi Gras throws has been a source of wage-earning jobs at ArcGNO for over 30 years. Today, the recycling program employs seven full-time and more than 80 part-time workers with intellectual disorders. Learn more about Arc of Greater New Orleans at www.arcgno.org