By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After weeks of celebrations and the samba school finale in Sambódromo, the big post-Carnival clean-up is underway in Rio. City officials say some 770 tons of garbage have been removed so far: 400 tons from the aftermath of bloco parties held across Rio and another 370 tons from the Sambódromo, up significantly on the amount collected in 2012.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes was reported to have announced he was looking at ways Carnival can be changed to reduce the impact on the city: local media say this could mean a reduction in the number of blocos (street parties) and parade routes.
Aside from the colossal amount of garbage, this year’s celebrations went smoothly, although the city’s emergency services have treated nearly 2,000 people, according to Rio’s Health Secretary, most for dehydration, sunburn and sunstroke.
With the city still reeling from this year’s Carnival, samba schools are wasting no time in thinking about costumes and float pieces for Carnival 2014, many of which are recycled, O Globo newspaper reports.
Recycling is nothing new for Carnival: samba schools attempt both to make and save money, as costumes and floats can cost many thousands of reais, as well as trying to help the environment in the process.
Those involved in the parades must return their Carnival costumes to the samba schools and help save them money, or face being blacklisted for future competitions.
As Wilson Alves, the President of Carnival 2013 Champions Vila Isabel samba school, told Globo, this year has seen a surge in sustainability following 2012’s Rio+20 Summit. They and five other schools will take part in the Champions’ Parade this weekend.
Rio’s official tourist company, Riotur, said it was hopeful the city would manage to generate around R$1.2 billion (US$665 million) from this year’s Carnival. Next year’s Carnival is scheduled for March 1-4, 2014.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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