Mardi Gras beads can be dropped off for Arc year-round _lowres

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Laurie Lucas untangles donated beads at ARC of Greater New Orleans in Metairie, Saturday January 30, 2016. Arc of Greater New Orleans sells recycled and glass beads all year round.

An offer of free pickup of recyclable Mardi Gras beads and throws brought in nearly 17,000 pounds of beads for Arc’s Mardi Gras Recycle Center. The pickups Feb. 13 were sponsored and facilitated by the Uber transportation app.

For those who were unable to arrange a pickup of beads or anyone who wishes to donate to Arc’s Mardi Gras Recycle Center, there are permanent drop-off locations in and around the area:

  • Whole Foods Market, 5600 Magazine St., New Orleans
  • Near Semolina Restaurant inside Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie
  • Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans
  • Rouses Market, 2701 Airline Drive, Metairie
  • The Green Project, 2831 Marais St., New Orleans.

The Recycle Center is one of six social enterprises Arc manages. The year-round operation employs people with disabilities or developmental delays, who work with volunteers to sort, band and repackage the beads for sale to float riders.

Arc’s Recycle Center sorted and repackaged some 125,000 pounds of beads for the 2016 Mardi Gras season, down from the 175,000 pounds in 2014.