Hattiesburg Zoo to collect Mardi Gras beads for recycling


With the Mardi Gras season full steam ahead, the Hattiesburg Zoo is leading the way in conservation and recycling for the second year in a row by collecting Mardi Gras beads. Guests are encouraged to bring their unwanted beads to the Hattiesburg Zoo for proper recycling.

All of this season’s beads will be delivered to the ARC of Greater New Orleans. For over 30 years, ArcGNO has created wage-earning jobs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mardi Gras recycling helps turn beads into jobs for individuals with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities. Employees untangle, clean, and distribute the beads to be purchased again. ArcGNO collected more than 133 tons of “throws” during the 2019 Mardi Gras season.

In a time when it is becoming a lot harder to recycle items, reducing and reusing are now becoming the leading efforts on the fight against plastic. Last year, The Hattiesburg Zoo collected and delivered about 200 pounds of beads!

Guests can drop off their beads in labeled containers that will be located inside the zoo. The collection bins will be available through the end of March. When a customer donates a bag of Mardi Gras beads, they will receive a free carousel ride.