Speaking of petitions, the news that 46 tons of old Mardi Gras beads were found in clogged St. Charles Avenue catch basins that crews cleaned in recent months has prompted a Care2 petition asking the city to ban Mardi Gras beads or require biodegradable, non-toxic beads instead.
The online petition has gathered over 14,000 signatures, organizers said.
“Look, if people really wanted those beads, would 46 tons end up down the drain?” wrote petition author Aaron Viles. “People want glittery shoes, blinking whatevers, coconuts, moon pies, stuffed animals, footballs. The majority of beads are just parade-filler.”
The Care2 petition asks New Orleans to ban the beads until biodegradable, nontoxic beads are available, pointing to a Kickstarter project that aims to make them.
The Department of Public Works said it is working with the Sanitation Department to figure out how to prevent the clogs, including temporarily stuffing the catch basin openings with "gutter buddies" to stop the beads from entering the drain.