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Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative

Why: Parades produce as much as 2.6 million pounds of landfill bound street waste in just 11 days. Most of the waste is cans and bottles that can be recycled and unwanted throws that can be reused to help provide jobs for people with intellectual disabilities.

We have partnered with the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Grounds Krewe and EMR Recycling to send the “The Girl Who Recycled One Million Cans” to New Orleans Schools as part of an initiative with the City of New Orleans called “Recycle Dat!” which is focused on recycling during Mardi Gras. We want to make students and their families aware of this effort and help them learn the value of recycling and we think this book could help. We believe that if teachers could read this book to their classes, have the students do some of the activities on our website and send the following flyer home with parents, many additional beads and aluminum beverage cans can be recycled. 

School Aluminum Beverage Can Drive to Earn Needed Funds: 

Schools can earn needed funds by hosting an Aluminum Beverage Can Recycling Drive: 

  • Rally students to gather cans from family and friends and bring them to school. 
  • Recruit volunteers to take the collected cans to EMR Recycling Mid City (2525 Lafitte Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119). CMI will match the market rate that EMR pays for used beverage cans brought to them between February 10-25.

Recycle Dat! Recycling volunteers will be distributing free recycling bags for Mardi Gras beads along the Uptown parade route on St. Charles Avenue from Napoleon Avenue to Poydras Avenue during the Uptown day parades on February 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th.  There will be “Recycling Hubs” and “Can Stations” where you can bring your used beads and aluminum beverage cans. Proceeds from the used aluminum beverage cans recycled at “Recycle Dat!” will be doubled by CMI and benefit: Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Louisiana SPCA, and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. You can find more info on when and where cans be dropped off during Mardi Gras for charity at https://ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras/recycling

Recycle Dat community event!

  • Spread the Word About Your Recycling Event – Let your school community know you are hosting a CAN DRIVE! Generating community awareness and interest is the key to collecting more cans.
    • Send letters home with students.
    • Promote on your Social Media and Website.
    • Create Signage that Builds Awareness and a barometer posters that show how far the school is from its recycling goal.
  • Identify a location and containers in your school where cans can be stored. Does a parent own a trailer that can be parked in the back of the school? Do you have a storeroom that could handle some big bags of cans for a week or two until they can be taken to ERM?

  • Recruit Parents or Teachers to take the cans to ERM. EMR Recycling Mid City (2525 Lafitte Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119). During February 10-25, CMI will match the market rate that EMR pays for used beverage cans brought to EMR.
  • Generate excitement. Promote competitions between classes over who can collect the most to generate excitement. Remind students of the CAN DRIVE at lunches and assemblies. Teachers can build excitement in the classroom by reading, “The Girl Who Recycled One Million Cans” to the classroom.

  • Celebrate! Announce the success and good work of the school so you can build on that success for next year.