D.C. Restaurant Waste Recycles Oyster Shells

The Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington D.C. has been a popular restaurant for locals and visitors since opening its doors for business in 1856. Know for its seafood dishes, and in particular, oysters, two years ago the restaurant decided to enact its own form of environmental policy – it is returning their oyster shells back into the Chesapeake Bay.  This area of the Atlantic Ocean is one of the primary sources for oysters in the United States and environmental stewardship of the area is essential for those businesses who rely on it for recreation and the seafood it produces.

Since starting the waste recycling program, the restaurant has returned almost eight hundred acres of oyster shells. This is the equivalent of ten waste disposal garbage bins being sent to a landfill every two weeks. The new recycling program has two benefits: not only does is save the restaurant in disposal fees but oysters need shells to order to live and reproduce. Depleting the Bay of oyster shells effectively limits the source and reduces the quantity and quality available to restaurants. This new policy helps to ensure that oysters will continue to be plentiful in years to come and diverts waste from local landfills.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When it comes to avoiding waste disposal and increasing waste recycling, creative thinking is the key. Take a look at the trash your business produces. Is there a way you can turn garbage into gold? (or shells into oysters?)