Recycle Oyster Shells with Worcester County

Snow Hill, Maryland (September 26, 2023) – Area businesses, residents, and visitors are invited to join Worcester County Recycling to recycle oyster shells. Currently, shells can be disposed of in a specially marked recycling bin at the Central Landfill in Newark, with additional oyster recycling sites to be available soon.

“Worcester County has teamed up with Shell Recycling Alliance Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) to help replenish the oyster populations in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays,” Recycling Manager Bob Keenan said. “The Central Landfill location is just the start of this vital recycling program. Additional oyster recycling containers will be added to the three manned Transfer Stations in Berlin, Snow Hill, and Pocomoke in the coming weeks.”

Recycled oyster shells are the preferred natural substrate for oyster production. Each recycled shell can be used to grow up to ten young oysters (spat), which are then planted by the ORP in the bays to restore declining oyster habitats and improve water quality. To date, some four billion oysters have been planted on 1,500 acres of oyster reefs, and more than 1,200 tons of shells have been recycled to provide homes for new oysters.