Shell Recycling

Shell Recycling – where no shell is left behind!

Oyster shell is the best natural material used to rebuild oyster reefs – and it’s in very short supply. You can help ORP recycle this critical resource.


Demonstrate your commitment to Bay restoration and help save this ecologically important byproduct by joining the Shell Recycling Alliance! Recycling shells saves you money by avoiding the costs of throwing it away. And the State of Maryland now pays cash for recycled shells. Restaurants and others can qualify for up to $5 per bushel of recycled shells. ORP keeps careful records of the shell it picks up that are used to determine how much money the state will pay.

� Jay Fleming

ORP regularly picks up shell from restaurants and other businesses that meet the following qualifications:

  • Located in central Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern VA 

  • Serve a minimum of over 500 oysters per week 

  • Can save a covered, 32-gallon container of shells in cold storage or at a loading dock, waste room, or outdoor dumpster area for a maximum of two weeks

Meet the qualifications? Let us know you’re interested in participating by filling out the form below.

Seafood Lovers

Did you know that one recycled oyster shell can become a home for 10+ baby oysters? The easiest way that you can get involved and help ORP achieve its mission to restore the native oyster population is by eating oysters and making sure the shells are recycled.

Here's how:

Oyster Events

Are you holding an oyster event and would like to recycle the shells? If your event is local and serving a large quantity of oysters (500 or more), contact us about the possibility of a pick-up. Otherwise, please take them to one of ORP’s 70 public drop sites.