Biloxi Cleans Up Its Mardi Gras Mess

Bruce Carriere and an army of city and county workers were assigned a rather disgusting mission.

"It looks like a trash dump now," the Biloxi Public Works employee said, just before he shoveled another scoop of litter into a trash bin. "But it will be clean later in the day when it's over with."

The clean up teams had to throw out what Mardi Gras revelers dumped along Biloxi's parade route.

Tommy King enjoyed Tuesday's parade. Early Wednesday morning, he was back in downtown Biloxi with a rake in his hand.

"You get to have fun one day. Then you come out here, gotta clean up all this mess the next day," he laughed. "I guess it's worth it though."

The post Mardi Gras clean up work had to be done in less than ideal conditions. Rain made the garbage even messier.

The trash was raked into piles. The piles contained empty cans, discarded bags, and plenty of beads.

"Oh yes, you can get a lot more beads today than you could at the Mardi Gras, at the parades," King said. "There are millions of beads out here on the street, millions."

Anna Lee found some of those wet, day old beads while her landscaping company cleaned a business along the float staging area.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure," she said.

If that was the case, then Janis Hightower was on a treasure hunt. She was back at work the day after Mardi Gras, in a building on the Biloxi parade route. During breaks, she went outside, found beads in her parking lot, and took them home.

"Saving the one's that aren't broken for my grandchildren when they come to visit," she smiled.

When they visit, they'll see a city that sparkles. They won't see the Mardi Gras mess of 2004.

Biloxi was actually a cleaner city Wednesday than it was the day after Mardi Gras last year. According to a city spokesman, last year's Mardi Gras debris field was three times as large.