Mardi Gras clean up: What is the process to collecting parade litter?

The Mardi Gras festivities have to come to an end—but what happens to all of the trash left...
The Mardi Gras festivities have to come to an end—but what happens to all of the trash left behind after the parades?(KPLC)
Updated: Mar. 6, 2019 at 10:29 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Mardi Gras festivities have to come to an end, but what happens to all of the trash left behind after the parades?

After the fun is over, the beads, confetti, and trash is left behind, but not for long.

“They’re able to run multiple sweepers at one time. The debris gets kind of blown into the center of the street and then it’s sucked up by the sweepers," Katie Harrington, spokesperson for the City of Lake Charles, said.

The cleanup is immediate. The grounds crews and street sweepers following the parade within an hour after the last float rolls down Ryan Street.

“If the weather changes and it rains, you want to make sure that the debris, the beads, and the debris from the parade doesn’t end up in the storm drains or blowing all over private property. It’s much harder to pick up when it’s not on the roadway," Harrington said.

With this quick process in place, Harrington said everyone’s job is made a little easier.

“The road is already closed, so it’s the safest time for the crews to get out on the street and be efficient with getting things all cleaned up," Harrington said.

For each major parade, Merchant’s parade, Children’s parade, and the Krewe of Krewes parade, the street sweepers collect two flatbed trucks full of debris that totals over 1,300 standard trash bags full of parade litter.

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