By Sabri Ben-Achour
Paper, plastic, metal and oyster shell are all now recyclable in Maryland. A new oyster shell recycling program will get underway next week. Just as plastic milk jugs can be recycled into sweaters, Oyster shells can be recycled to help make...more oysters...sort of.
The shells are used as anchor material for baby oysters to grow on. In colonial times, entire oyster reefs grew naturally as the shells accumulated in the Chesapeake Bay.
The Bay is too polluted for that now, but people are trying to help. The Oyster Recovery Partnership is launching an oyster shell recycling alliance on Thursday. The group will start picking up used oyster shells from restaurants, caterers, and wholesalers and reusing them to help increase the Bay's dwindling oyster population.
Groups holding oyster roasts can also opt to recycle instead of shucking and chucking.