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The count: 'gutter buddies' blocking Mardi Gras beads from storm drains

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After the New Orleans Department of Public Works pulled more than 7 million pounds of debris from storm drains over the last several months, the city installed 200 orange "gutter buddies" along parade routes to prevent discarded Mardi Gras throws from blocking the drains. More than 90,000 pounds of Mardi Gras beads along the St. Charles Avenue parade route alone were hauled from that 7 million pounds of garbage.

  At press time, nearly 15,000 people had signed an online petition calling on the city to ban Mardi Gras beads, or require krewes to throw "biodegradable, non-toxic beads" instead.

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