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Shell Recycling Takes Off

By admin
January 13, 2014

Happy New Year! The cold weather that greeted us in the new year hasn’t slowed down the Harbor Foundation’s shell recycling operations with a record weekly haul of 2256 pounds of shell for our first week of January! Thanks largely to The Lobster Place for their commitment to our operations, we were able to blow through the holiday break without falter. Moving into the new year, the commitment from our partner restaurants has been fantastic. Grand Central Oyster Bar will however be closed until early March for renovations on their dining room. We look forward to welcoming them back into our operations after their revamp. In the meantime, our other restaurant partners have been able to bolster their recycling capabilities – clearly a lot of people enjoyed their share of oysters during the holiday break. Thanks!

Lobster Place - Shell Collection

Oyster shells filling our cargo van after The Lobster Place collection

Our number of restaurant partners has grown over the previous few months and as our network map shows, we’re now recycling from restaurants throughout the city – increasing our capabilities and putting us closer to our restoration goals.

We’re proud to announce that during December we surpassed 100,000 pounds of shell recycled throughout the programs history! Not only has this enabled us to establish significant oyster reefs and gardens throughout the city, it’s diverted 100,000 pounds of an extremely useful resource, which would have otherwise needlessly gone to landfill.

Although the winter period doesn’t allow us to set and deploy oysters throughout the Harbor – it’s simply too cold – it does allow us to prepare for the spring when the breeding, setting and deployment will be in full swing. Our most important task during this period is the recycling of spent shells which, as the numbers above show, is in full swing. Our Earth Matter Interns from New York Harbor School provide an important step in the process. The interns first weigh all recycled shells to maintain our database and keep track of our goals. The shells are then spread throughout curing beds and left to cure over a 6-month period. As the image below shows we are maintaining a significant collection of shells leading into this years warmer months.

Curing beds on Governors Island

Recycled oyster shells in different stages of the curing process