City officials are working to clear catch basins and develop more long-term solutions
The New Orleans Department of Public Works found 93,000 lb of Mardi Gras beads clogging catch basins. Following an August flood, the city initiated an emergency catch basin clearing, which unearthed the Mardi Gras beads after clearing 15,000 basins out of 68,000 citywide basins.
Operating under a $7 million emergency fund, the city’s Department of Public Works contracted Compliance EnviroSystems, which used vacuum trucks to clear the basins of 7.2 million lb of debris from Sept. 26 to Jan. 23, according to NOLA.com. The majority of the Mardi Gras beads were found clogging storm drains on St. Charles Ave. between Poydras St. and Lee Circle–a central area for Mardi Gras festivities.
“Once you hear a number like that, there’s no going back,” said Dani Galloway, interim director of the city’s Department of Public Works. “So we’ve got to do better.”
City officials are working to teach residents how to clear storm drains and local environmental organizations are offering bead recycling services. The city is also considering temporarily blocking storm drains during festivities.