The Young Leadership Council partnered with ArcGNO this carnival season to collect beads and recyclables on the parade routes through uptown New Orleans.

After a Nola.com story revealed that the city removed more than 64 tons of beads from a five block stretch of St. Charles, YLC Recycles Project Leader Hannah Kincannon says it’s a public safety issue.

“It’s actually impeding the system that we have to keep the streets from flood, that’s not even going into plastic going into landfills, where it will sit for the next few hundred years.”

YLC works to make New Orleans events greener and more sustainable. Kincannon says they worked with ArcGNO to find a home for the tons beads collected.

“Mardi Gras beads cannot be recycled, but they can be reused. This provides paid employment to adults with intellectual disabilities, and they collect parade throws year round.”

ArcGNO workers will clean and sort the beads, which will be sold back to parade krewes next Mardi Gras season.

Kincannon says About 200 people worked the ground, passing out recycling and collection bags over the programs two weekends. She says they’d to see more volunteers out helping next year.

“We need a lot of feet on the ground to pick up these recycling bags before the city clean up trucks come through, so the more people we have the better.”

Kincannon says on the first day alone, two and a half tons of Mardi Gras beads were collected.