The larger the organization, the more opportunity for resource savings and positive change! With the number of visitors in the Park each day, the countless events hosted here each week, and the many facilities that offer entertainment and recreation, New Orleans City Park sees a lot of waste. We recognize the environmental impact of this waste, as it ends up in a landfill or in the environment, and are working to reduce that impact. New Orleans City Park is committed to responsibly managing waste by focusing on (1) increasing recycling and composting in the Park, (2) implementing zero-waste practices at major Park events, and (3) reducing single-use plastics and eliminating unnecessary items when possible.
In an effort to improve recycling rates in the city of New Orleans, City Park is increasing access to recycling throughout the Park and providing informational signage to educate Park visitors. To date (July 2018), there are over 100 recycling bins located in the Park, including at all playgrounds, several picnic shelters, the Festival Grounds, Big Lake, Botanical Garden, Tennis Center, Golf Course, City Putt, and Amusement Park. In the next three years, we hope to have a recycling bin next to every trash can in the Park.
Beyond the everyday recycling, City Park is also working to keep those odd items out of the landfill.
• Each month, City Park participates in an electronics recycling drive to prevent e-waste from ending up in the garbage dumpster.
• The City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center recycles used and deflated tennis balls by partnering with a youth-driven nonprofit organization called RecycleBalls. To date (July 2018), we have recycled over 12,000 tennis balls!
• City Park recycles over 60 Christmas trees from our annual Celebration in the Oaks event. These trees are used within the Park to build reefs that improve fish habitat in our lagoons.
City Park maintains a composting site to process organic waste generated within the Park. This includes tree branches, horticultural waste, and golf course grass clippings, as well as coffee grounds and vegetable scraps from our administration kitchen. City Park produces close to 1000 cubic feet of compost each year, all of which is used within the Park to help maintain garden beds and landscaped areas.
With food, advertising, invitations, decorations, transportation, and more, events can be very resource intensive. One way City Park can reduce the environmental impact of Park sanctioned events is by implementing zero waste practices. The goal of a zero waste event is to divert as much waste as possible from entering the landfill by practicing responsible purchasing, providing recycling and composting, training staff, and offering educational opportunities for guests.
To date (July 2018), we have successfully implemented zero waste practices at 10 major Park events, and achieved an average waste diversion rate of 58% in 2017 and 79% in 2018.
Interested in participating in one of our zero waste events? Contact Meg Adams at email@example.com
Reducing Single-Use Plastics
Thirteen million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. Scientists believe that, if no action is taken, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by the year 2050.
City Park’s lagoons feed into Lake Pontchartrain, which feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. To protect our lagoons and our oceans, City Park is working to reduce single-use plastics in the Park.
• City Park has eliminated all plastic bags from gift shops, and replaced them with paper bags or reusable alternatives.
• City Park concession stands and catering services will only offer straws and lids upon request for cold drinks.
• City Park will continue implementing zero waste practices at City Park sanctioned events and using compostable alternatives to plastic in event food service.