New Orleans should kind of be ashamed of themselves with how much waste we make. We measure the success of Mardi Gras by how much trash we produce – which, TBH, is sad. What we need to do is look at are more sustainable ways to do business.
Many local bars and restaurants have moved to eco-friendly containers, straws, and cups. We whole-heartedly applaud them for that too! But what can you, at your home and as a regular person, do to make the future New Orleans a better place? Here are ways to recycle and compost in the New Orleans area.
Orleans and Jefferson parish have weekly recycling pick-up. If you throw non-recyclable items in there, they just put it all into the trash. Be mindful of what does and does not belong in the recycling bins.
This is what can be recycled curbside in Orleans: Plastic with #1 & #2 inside the triangular-shaped recycling symbol, beverage bottles, food containers (rinse), detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, prescription bottles, baby wipe containers, household cleaner and bleach bottles (empty and rinse), flower pots, buckets, aluminum, tin, and metal alloy beverage, food, and pet food cans (rinsed), paper (not with delivery bag), cereal & cracker boxes (with liners taken out).
Editor’s Note: Orleans says they take plastics #1-#7. That is NOT accurate. Anything other than #1 & #2 will be added to a landfill. Mardi Gras cups are plastic #5.
This is what can be recycled in Jefferson parish: Plastics #1-#7, aluminum cans & foil, steel food cans, corrugated cardboard, boxboard (cereal boxes & shoes boxes), paper.
PLEASE NOTE: Neither Orleans or Jefferson will take plastic bags, whether or not they have the recycling logo on them. Many local grocery stores will take plastic bags back and recycle them. Please check your closest grocer to see if they participate.
Other items you CAN NOT recycle in Orleans or Jefferson in your curbside bin:
- bubble wrap
- packaging plastic
- lawn trimmings
- plastic toys
- pizza boxes
- aerosol cans
- 6-pack rings
- plastic hangers
- used papers (napkins, diapers, toilet paper)
How do I recycle glass?
Orleans parish: Residents can bring up to 50 lbs of glass to the Elysian Fields recycling drop-off on the second and fourth Saturday of each month for recycling. It’s located at 2829 Elysian Fields and the drop-off times are 8am-1pm.
All other places:
- Target, located at 4500 Veterans Memorial Blvd in Metairie
- Whole Foods, Metairie location only!, 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
- Rosalie’s Apothecary, can drop off between 10am-6pm daily, 4201 Toulouse in Mid-City
- Tulane University Newcomb Art Dept., only clear glass and must call before going 504-865-5327
Where can my food scraps go?
Local non-profit Compost NOW has drop-offs across the city every day but Friday.
What you can bring: Frozen fruit and vegetable scraps (peels, pits, seeds), eggshells, nut shells, seed shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, filters, plain grains, plain pasta or plain bread in a paper or compostable bag or bring scraps in a reusable container.
DO NOT BRING dairy products, animal bones or by-products, food that is not frozen.
You can also get a composting can from The Compost Network. One can is $25/month and they pick up all over the metro area. Check out the link to see if your zip code is eligible.
Orleans Parish: You can recycle electronics at the Department of Sanitation Recycling Drop-Off Center at 2829 Elysian Fields Avenue on the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 8:00am until 1:00pm. They will accept: computers, laptops, cell/phones, telephone systems, cable, x-Boxes, Playstations, Wii, MP3s, DVRs, DVDs, UPS, circuit systems, ink jet and toner cartridges, laptops, printers, fax machines, uninterruptible power supplies, circuit boards, digital cameras/picture frames, stereos, speakers, MP3 players, security systems, GPS devices, video games, and televisions (limit 4).
Check your local Best Buy store for size limitations on electronic recycling. Many locations will take your old electronics.
Lightbulbs can be recycled at the City of New Orleans drop-off days and at many Lowe’s & Home Depot locations.
Clothing – find a dropbox near you!
Ink Cartridges – City of New Orleans drop-off days and many local Office Depot & FedEx locations.
Batteries – City of New Orleans drop-off days and many local home Depot locations.
Paint – The Green Project, 2831 Marais, only Monday-Saturday from 9am-4pm. Check their website for their guidelines.
Tires – City of New Orleans drop-off days. Limit is 5.
Cosmetics – Origins make-up counters will take ANY brands glass or plastic jars, bottles, tubes, lipstick covers, and caps. They cannot take sample sizes, tweezers, brushes, or the packaging it came in.
Building Materials – The Green Project collects and sells building materials including, but not limited to, bricks, lighting fixtures, tiles, power tools, stoves, plumbing supplies, etc.
Appliances – Many of the above-mentioned places take appliances as well. Be sure to call the local Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army for pick-ups too.
Automobiles – Donate your old car to Bridge House. They accept ALL vehicles.