Brunswick County and the North Carolina Coastal Federation are partnering to increase oyster shell recycling by offering more drop-off sites throughout the county.
Recycled oyster shells are used to build or restore oyster reefs and provide habitat for other marine life. Oyster shells can cost up to $3 per bushel when purchased for coastal restoration. It is also illegal to dump the shells in North Carolina landfills making recycling a better option.
Brunswick County’s Solid Waste and Recycling Program, which has been collecting shell at the county landfill in Bolivia, now provides drop-off sites at the following convenience centers:
- Sunset Beach: 736 Seaside Road.
- Supply: 1709 Oxpen Road.
- Southport: 8392 River Road.
- Leland: 9921 Chappell Loop Road.
From 2003 to 2018, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries operated a state-funded oyster shell recycling program that provided 6 to 15% of the shell needed for restoration projects. The state-run oyster shell recycling program ended in 2018 as a result of budget cuts and staff reductions.
The federation, which publishes Coastal Review, is filling that gap by providing a way for people and businesses to support a healthy coastal environment and keep shells out of the trash. Support for the Cape Fear region Recycling for Reefs program comes from the Orton Foundation.
For a complete list of coastwide recycling sites, visit the website.