Buy, Cook and Recycle

Buy, Cook and Recycle Oysters

The Delaware Bay needs you to “give a shuck” by recycling your used shells. Discover why below. Explore a little further and you’ll also find where to buy them and how to cook them. Enjoy!

Oyster Shell Recycling

Oyster Shell Recycling

Aluminum cans, old newspapers, and plastic bottles are examples of things we’re all accustomed to recycling. It’s something most of us do every day. But, did you know that oyster shells can be recycled too? And, there’s a serious shell shortage in the Delaware Bay while used oyster and clam shells are piling up in local restaurants and being disposed of in our valuable landfills.

In fact, while millions of oysters are being harvested each year, only a fraction of shells are ever returned to the water. With every baby oyster needing an old oyster shell to attach to in order to survive, disposing of harvested oyster shells is hurting our bay, our shorelines, and ultimately us. Luckily the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is working to change that and we need your help.

We are undertaking the important work of returning oyster shells to the bay so new oysters can grow, habitat can be created, and shorelines can be protected.

There are two ways for you to get involved:

1. Recycle your oyster shells. It’s easy and we pick up the shells and provide everything at no cost!

2. Help promote our program.

Each option offers benefits to you, the Delaware Bay, and our shorelines. For example, by recycling your shells you can reduce your waste disposal fees along with your waste footprint. If you choose to sponsor our program we’ll also promote your business and be sure you get the recognition you deserve.

To learn more about recycling oyster shells please contact Jeff Long, or watch this video interview.

Map of locations currently participating in our Oyster Recycling Program!


Clear into the Future DNREC logo Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation logo Sunoco Foundation logo

Where do I buy Delaware Bay oysters?


New Jersey


How do I cook Delaware Bay oysters?

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