where can i recycle mardi gras beads?

The last parade has rolled, the fair is packing up and Lent is here. Mardi Gras is over for another year, except for one nagging thing...

That damn pile of Mardi Gras beads somewhere in your house or car. What can you do with them without having to throw them away?


  • LARC. The Louisiana Association of Retarded Citizens organization collects broken and unbroken Mardi Gras beads of all styles throughout the year. The beads create job opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. They clean and repair the beads for resale in future years through their shop Beads N More. Bring your donations to LARC near Acadian village.
  • Goodwill partners with LARC to accept donated beads on the organization's behalf. Drop your beads off at any local store to donate.
  • This year, Downtown Lafayette is partnering up with LARC and Project Front Yard to collect beads for donation. If you've been downtown, you've noticed the awesome #Y LAFAYETTE sculpture by the Parc San Souci water fountain. For Mardi Gras, the empty space will have a six-foot tall chicken wire Y that will collect Mardi Gras beads. Bring your stash TODAY and help fill the Y. All beads collected will be donated to LARC. Plus, it will make a really awesome photo!
  • Arc of Acadiana accepts beads year-round. Beads they collect are detangled, sorted, repackaged and resold. The collection provides employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Drop your beads off at one of Arc's retail locations in south Louisiana. If you're riding in a parade next year, shop for your throws at one of Arc of Acadiana's retail stores and close the recycling loop!

    New Orleans

    Many smaller organizations may accept beads for recycling as part of their community service. I noticed a sign in my office breakroom about the Lafayette Autism Society collecting beads as a benefit. If one of your coworkers happens to be helping a particular benefit, bring your beads and help them out.

    If no one is collecting beads, you can always take the initiative and collect beads from your own coworkers and bring them to LARC or any other organization yourself.

    You can also package and sell your beads for next year's festivities. Just donate any broken beads to a nonprofit that will fix them before reselling.

    Keep beads out of landfills! They are fixable and reusable and should not be thrown away! 

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