Oyster Shell Recycling at McIntire Recycling Center

Posted on Sep 19, 2019 in Community Project, Education Center, Featured, Newsroom, Public Notices, Recycling, Stewardship, Water, Water Resource Recovery

Oyster Shell Recycling at McIntire Recycling Center

Starting the week of September 23, 2019, the McIntire Recycling Center will be the new home for the collection of oyster shells in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.  This collection point, which is open to the public as well, will collect oysters from restaurants and homes to be recycled back into oyster habitat in the Chesapeake by the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling and Restoration Program (VOSRP).

The VOSRP is a collaborative, community-based, restoration program of the VCU Rice Rivers Center (RRC). The VOSRP began in 2013 to collect waste oyster shell from businesses and the general public and divert it back into the Chesapeake Bay as part of comprehensive oyster restoration to meet Chesapeake Bay Program Goals. We actively collect waste shell statewide, with more than 60 participating businesses and nearly 30 public drop-off locations. The Program collects from restaurants, businesses, oyster roasts, special events and at public drop-off locations.

Annually, the Program collects nearly 125,000lb of waste shell that is age-cured at the VCU Rice Rivers Center before being seeded with juvenile oysters. Those seeded shells are then returned to the Chesapeake Bay on reef restoration projects in the Piankatank and Rappahannock Rivers. We work closely with the seafood industry and restoration partners and returned nearly 20M oysters in 2019. We operate with no financial support from VCU and rely solely on direct donations, small grants and an enormous volunteer effort. Despite these financial challenges, we operate the largest shell recycling program in Virginia and returned the greatest amount of oysters to the Chesapeake for 2019.  (to see more about this program go to:  https://youtu.be/qkuZjoBv7qM)

A small ceremony to celebrate VOSRP’s partnership with RSWA will be held at McIntire Recycling Center on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd at 11am. Mr. Todd Janeski, Director of the Program will be in attendance and will speak to its significance, and what our partnership means for not only the Charlottesville/Ablemarle area, but also the Chesapeake Bay.

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