- Whole Foods Markets on Magazine Street or Veterans Boulevard
- Clearview Mall, near Semolina Restaurant
- Mardi Gras World
- Rouses Supermarket at Airline and South Labarre Road
- The Green Project at 2831 Marais St.
- New Orleans Public Library branches
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of snatching hundreds of beads out of thin air as the Mardi Gras floats barrel past you. But, let’s face it. They’re getting heavier and heavier around your neck, and by the end of the exhilarating weeks, the beads just seem to be taking up wasted space. Instead of piling them in the attic or tossing your loot in the trash, stay green and donate your throws to Arc of Greater New Orleans. Arc of Greater New Orleans is a local nonprofit that works to support over 1000 children and adults who have developmental issues and special needs. The organization provides meaningful job and volunteer opportunities to those adults who wish to integrate themselves into the community. One of Arc’s most important projects is the recycling of Mardi Gras beads. Each year, Arc repurposes almost 200,000 pounds of beads, in addition to stuffed animals and other parade novelties. The main tasks are not only to allot jobs for people with intellectual disabilities but also to keep the plastic beads with harmful chemicals out of landfills. What’s more is that they then resell the beads at lower costs to krewes and other organizations for future use. To donate your beads to this great cause, please look for the purple recycling bins in these locations: