Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative

Through the Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative, YLC Recycles and ARC of Greater New Orleans work together to make Mardi Gras season greener and more environmentally sustainable for future generations. Learn more about how you can support this historic new endeavor, below!

The Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative Returns in 2019!

Young Leadership Council and ARC of Greater New Orleans are excited to announce the return of the Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative (MGRI) in 2019. We are incredibly excited to build upon last year’s successful pilot of the initiative, which kept 2,500 lbs of beads, 10,000 cans, and 3,000 plastic bottles out of Louisiana landfills from just one day of parades.

Learn more about this partnership between YLC Recycles and ARC via the press release below. Watch this space for more information in the coming weeks about participating parades, route information, volunteer opportunities, and much more!

Read The Announcement

Learn More About YLC Recycles


2018 Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative

About The Initiative

Through the Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative, YLC Recycles and ARC of Greater New Orleans are working together to make Mardi Gras season greener and more environmentally sustainable for future generations of New Orleanians. In 2018, YLC and ARC teamed up with community partners Republic Services, Krewe of Freret, Krewe of Thoth, and the City of New Orleans’ Department of Sanitation to launch a new recycling initiative during two Mardi Gras parades on February 3 and 11. 

In 2016 alone, 940 tons of waste was collected off the streets during the carnival season. A significant amount of this material is discarded or neglected single use items that could easily be recycled or reused. The waste poses many environmental hazards and is costly to clean up.

Where and When:

Krewe of Freret – Saturday, February 3 at 2:30 pm
Uptown, New Orleans

Krewe of Thoth – Sunday, February 11 at 12:00 pm
Uptown, New Orleans

How it works:

  1. Recycling bags will be distributed by uniformed YLCR & Arc volunteers before, during, and after parades to Krewes and members of the public along the parade route. Separate bags for aluminum, plastic, and throws will be available.

  2. Six designated collection stations will be set up along the parade routes to accept recycled waste, with detailed instructions indicated on each bag. See a map with collection points below.

  3. Trucks will take away bagged waste to recycling facilities before city clean up arrives.

  4. Volunteers will break down bead boxes and assist with other post-event recycling efforts. Krewes are connected with a network of sustainable bead suppliers to ensure that remaining throws are recycled.

  5. Republic Services will collect co-mingled recyclables from the recycling stations and bring the waste to their Materials Recovery Facility for processing.

 Recycling Station Locations

Six recycling collection stations will be positioned along the route, on Napoleon Ave. and St. Charles Ave. Each station will have a tent, table and bins for both recycled throws and
disposable waste. Find the location most convenient for you, below!

Start: Magazine & Napoleon
Station 1: Napoleon & Chestnut
Station 2: St. Charles & Gen. Pershing
Station 3: St. Charles & Peniston
Station 4: St. Charles & Louisiana Ave.
Station 5: St. Charles & Sixth St.
Station 6: St. Charles & First St.
Finish: Jackson Ave. & St. Charles – truck & volunteer exit point

What To Look For

Recycling Volunteers

Initiative volunteers will be wearing these green or purple vests and will be passing out recycling bags in the pilot area (between the recycling stations listed above).

Initiative Recycling Bags

mardi gras recycling bag

Recycling bags, whether they are green or purple, come in two types: aluminum/plastic waste and parade throws. Scan the QR code on the bag for a list of recycling locations!

Recycling Stations

mardi gras recycling tent

Drop off your full recycling bags to one of these six stations located along the parade route. A full map of the locations can be found on this page.


Contact the YLC Recycles team at recycles@ylcnola.org.