Town officials show a sampling of the more than three tons of oyster shells collected at the Oyster Festival, to be recycled back into the waterways to improve water quality and help with growth of new shellfish. (Photo: Town of Oyster Bay)

Tons of oyster shells recycled from Oyster Festival

Thousands of oyster shells that were collected during last weekend’s Oyster Festival will be recycled as part of a new program.

The Town of Oyster Bay transported more than 3 tons of the shells to a curing facility in advance of returning them to the harbor to assist in the growth of new shellfish.

The shells provide an excellent source of habitat for young shellfish to grow and mature, offering protection from weather conditions and predators. One single shellfish can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day.

“You can’t have the Oyster Festival without oysters, and thousands of residents enjoyed this delicacy during the weekend’s festivities. Thanks to a new initiative we recently launched, their shells will not go to waste,” Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said in a written statement. “Through our new Shell Recycling Program, we were able to make sure that these shells could also be recycled and ultimately placed back into the waters.”

The program also assists local restaurants in achieving compliance requirements with state regulations on food donation and recycling, as well as reducing waste carting expenses.

Any restaurant owner interested in partnering in the Shell Recycling Program can visit:

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