We use thousands of bushels of recycled oyster shells each year. Once the recycled shells are cleaned and cured, CBF places them in huge water tanks containing millions of microscopic oyster larvae, which then attach to the shells. On average, each recycled shell can become home to dozens of those baby oysters, called spat. CBF provides the the spat-on-shell to its oyster gardeners and plants them in rivers and the Bay to grow and expand oyster reefs.
Oyster shells are becoming increasingly scarce. Through the Save Oyster Shell recycling program, shells that would typically be thrown away are saved and used in a variety of oyster restoration projects.
Virginia Public Drop-off Locations
There are several public shell recycling drop-off locations across Virginia. This program is a partnership between CBF and Keep Norfolk Beautiful. If you are interested in hosting a shell-recycling bin, contact Heather North at email@example.com or 757-622-1964 ext.3303
100 Museum Drive
(bin located in the first parking lot to the right)
Waste Management Facility
1176 Pineridge Road
(enter to right of building by Electronics/Hazardous Household Waste Recycling. Pineridge is off Azalea Garden and Village Roads. Turn into the first WM Facility entrance, follow the driveway behind the building, and then bear to the right. Shells are collected at the Electronics/Hazardous Household Waste Recycling Center.)
Open for Norfolk residents M-Sat. 10 a.m.—2 p.m.
6525 Hampton Blvd.
(under the Birdsong Wetlands kiosk)
Please call 757-441-1347 when you drop off shells at this location.
Devils Backbone Brewery
200 Mosbys Run
(bin located all the way to the right, behind the building)
Colonial Williamsburg Welcome Center
Near 101 Visitor Center Drive
Service road across Route 60 from Parkway Drive
(bin is located across the street)
GPS: 37.280507, -76.692713
Virginia Participating Restaurants
The following restaurants also participate in the Save Oyster Shell program:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
York River Oyster Company
Harpoon Larry's Oyster Bar & Grill
Crabtown Raw Bar and Grill
Smalls Smokehouse and Oyster Bar
Berrets Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill
The Corner Pocket
S.O.S. also collects shells from oyster roasts and seafood festivals. We can provide bins and signage to minimize shells mixing with other refuse.
More Ways to Help
- Spread the word
- Become a volunteer and help collect shells from participating restaurants and oyster roasts.
- Volunteer at the Virginia Oyster Restoration center to clean and bag shells.
To participate or for more program information contact Heather North at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-622-1964 ext. 3303.
Partners and Funders
A special thank you to our supporters and partners in this effort, including Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (funded by the sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates), City of Norfolk Public Works, Keep Norfolk Beautiful, Waste Management, and the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program.