How the city handles the big Mardi Gras clean up


With Mardi Gras taking over the town this weekend, there’s big clean-up ahead for city workers.
The parades brings thousands of people to Shreveport and with them, comes thousands of pounds of trash. 

SPAR teams up with Public Works to clean up the miles of “fun” left behind. They follow behind the floats, bring out trash packers and trailers and start picking up the pieces as soon as the last float rolls out.

“We would like for the citizens to be able to drive the parade route the next day and not even be able to tell a parade had taken place,” said Charles Hymes, SPAR Maintenance Division Manager.

35 employees will hit the streets that night, work until about two-in-the-morning, and start again when the sun comes up.  Along the way they find all sorts of items. 

“There’s beads and confetti, trash, we run into all types of stuff. Furniture people leave out there. Hot coals and wood where people have started fires and barbecuing,” Hymes said.

All those beads don’t always go home with the parade goers.  The city doesn’t have a process to keep beads from going into drains so they pick them up fast. They ask the public to help where they can.

“We’ll pick it up instead of throwing it on the ground. But you know, people out on the route having fun, they’re not really thinking about the clean up aspect of it. Their just there to have fun and do what they do and that’s our job to come clean it up, so we do it every year and it’s long, tedious process but we find a way to get it done,” Hymes said.

SPAR said they pick-up about 40-thousand pounds of trash between the two parades which is then taken to a landfill. So there is an environmental impact with all the fun.

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