Circular Shell Recycling Stream
1. Shellfish farmers raise and harvest oysters and clams to be sold to restaurants and festivals.
2. Restaurants serve up fresh oysters and clams to their patrons. Customers discard the shells into tabletop shell recycling pails labeled with recycling program information.
5. Cured shells are returned to Long Island Sound to be used to grow more oysters for harvest and restoration projects.
3. Shuckers and servers deposit the shells into durable screw top buckets. The full buckets are placed outside the restaurant in a designated area for weekly pickup. After pickup, clean, empty buckets are left behind for more shells.
4. CORR picks up the full shell buckets and transports them to our shell storage and curing site. The shells have to cure for a minimum of six months.
About the Oyster Shell Recycling Program
Oyster shells are a natural resource and are the ideal and preferred surface to grow oyster spat on (microscopic baby oysters). A steady supply of oyster shells is needed to restore oyster reefs and grow more oysters. As part of these ongoing restoration projects, we started an oyster shell recycling program. Through this program, CORR partners with restaurants and shellfish commissions and assists them with recycling shucked oyster and clam shells.
The program is easy and free of charge. We provide restaurants with tabletops shell pails and special screw-top 5-gallon heavy-duty buckets used only for recycling shells. All the restaurant has to do is deposit the shucked oyster and clam shells into the buckets. Full buckets are tightly closed with lids and left outside of the restaurant. CORR and our shell recycling partners will make weekly pick-ups of the full buckets and leave behind empty, clean, and sanitized buckets. If needed, more frequent pick-ups can be made by calling the phone number on the bucket label.
The recycled shells are transported to our shell collection site where it is cured for a minimum of six months. After the curing process, we supply the shells to shellfish farmers and the local shellfish commissions to grow more oysters and for oyster restoration projects. To date, we have recycled thousands of pounds of shell, which would have otherwise ended up in restaurant trash and into landfills.
Members of CORR are happy to give a short presentation to restaurant employees on the shell recycling program, so they can help inform customers. We find that people are more likely to order and eat more oysters and clams when they know the shells are being recycled, used to restore oyster reefs, and help the environment.
If you are interested in becoming a shell recycling partner please contact us.