From Lafayette Consolidated Government:
Lafayette, LA – For the second year, Republic Waste will provide trash cans for the Lafayette Mardi Gras parade route.
“As a company that values sustainability in action, we are happy to be an active participant in creating a Mardi Gras that is cleaner and greener for everyone who attends the parades in Lafayette,” said Steve Smith, the Manager for Municipal Sales at Republic Waste. “If we can keep trash off the ground and into a can, that’s a win for everyone.”
The cans, all 500 of them, made their first appearance on the route in 2022 in partnership with Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG), Republic Waste, and Parish Proud. Previous to 2022, the total weight of the post-parade pickup fell on the shoulders of LCG’s Public Works Department.
“We are excited to be partnering with Parish Proud and Republic Waste again this year,” said Environmental Quality Manager, Bess Foret. “Litter can affect everything from health issues to drainage, and we hope that because of this partnership, we can mitigate some of those effects this Mardi Gras season.”
Approximately 34 tons of trash from parades get left behind and abandoned along Lafayette’s streets yearly. At the ground level, around 40 storm drains line the four-mile parade route, giving trash multiple ways to flow directly into the Vermilion River, creating unintended environmental impacts on the waterway and potential drainage issues.
Ben Berthelot, President and CEO of Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, also spoke about the importance of a clean Mardi Gras.
“When we talk about Mardi Gras in Lafayette Parish, we talk about a family-friendly Mardi Gras where visitors from around the world of all ages can have a great time in a safe and inviting environment,” Berthelot said. “Each year we are able to thank the hard work of the SW Mardi Gras Association volunteers, LCG, Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, and many others. I am always amazed when you travel the roadways in the morning following a parade, how clean the streets are, and I know that is not lost on our visitors and their impression of our area.”
Parade-goers who do not wish to keep their beads can recycle them at LARC in Lafayette, located at 303 New Hope Road. Beads recycled through this program become repackaged and sold through local retailers, creating crucial funding for the developmental disability nonprofit.
Though Mardi Gras does bring extra trash, litter remains a problem year-round. Those who want to volunteer to make Lafayette a better place can do so with Parish Proud at www.ParishProud.org.