Crew tackles task of bead removal in DDD - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Crew tackles task of bead removal in DDD

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - After a long weekend of non-stop partying, now comes the real work: cleaning up the mess. And it's about much more than hauling away the trash - one crew has set its sights a little higher.

Police and city officials cleared Bourbon Street at midnight on Fat Tuesday, but that was only the beginning of the cleanup. At street level workers dismantle Mardi Gras stands, and then there's the more delicate cleanup of "de-beading" the trees in the Downtown Development District.

"The DDD pushes the idea that downtown is a great place for business and certainly a great place for fun as well, but I think if we leave the beads up year round, it looks like we're always in party mode here," said DDD President Kurt Weigle.

Bucket trucks hoist workers into the branches of trees, and it's not just beads they're after. They're pulling down toilet paper, trinkets - you name it.

Weigle said it's about more than just a clean image. The same company doing the tedious work takes care of the trees year-round.

"It's part of keeping the trees healthy as well," he said. "Sometimes trees can start to choke off, so what we do by doing this is prevent circumstances that we'll have to trim a tree that's unhealthy because of beads."

Weigle said the job could take several weeks. The company doing the work, Twin Shores, will recycle the broken beads and donate the intact ones to St. Michael's Special School, where students sell them to raise money.

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