Oysters are a southern seafood staple dished up at restaurants all over the South. You may just toss the shells aside as you eat them, but just where do those shells go at the end of the day? They usually end up in a landfill. A few local restaurants and the Alabama Coastal Foundation want to change this practice by recycling the shells.
The oyster shells will leave your plate and be put back in the bay.
“About 35 percent of the seafood in the country come from the oysters in the Gulf of Mexico. So it’s a really big part of our economy. Our economy and our environment are tied together. So the more oysters we get back into the water, the better off our economy will be,” said Mark Berte from the Alabama Coastal Foundation.
Alabama’s first Oyster Recycling Program kicked off yesterday. Six local restaurants including the Oyster House are participating in the efforts to collect the oyster shells.
Green bins will be filled with the shells. They will be picked up three times a week. Each bin holds about 750 of them.
The purpose of putting the oysters back in the bay is to grow more oysters. The shells serve as the perfect place for oysters after spawning.
Pensacola and New Orleans also recycle oysters. Plans are in the works to expand the Alabama program to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for next spring.