May 24, 2019
Pittsburgh has become the first city outside the Chesapeake Bay region to recycle used oyster shells through the non-profit Oyster Recovery Partnership. The shells are used to rebuild oyster reefs in the bay.
Six Pittsburgh restaurants — Eleven, Merchant Oyster Co., Muddy Waters Oyster Bar, Off the Hook, Spirit & Tales and the St. Clair Country Club — will regularly donate used oyster shells to the Partnership. After the shells are cleaned, they are aged for about one year. Then oyster larvae are attached and they’re planted in the Chesapeake Bay.
“Pittsburgh-area restaurants have sent their oyster shells to the landfill,” said Joylette Portlock, executive director of Sustainable Pittsburgh. “But instead of that, now there’s an infrastructure set up for them to have the shells recycled for good use.”