Chapel-Hill's paper the Harold-Sun reported today, that Orange County will start recycling oyster shells. This policy on the surface might seem insignificant, but it has a number of benefits for North Carolina. The program will decrease the amount of waste in local landfills, offer a tax credit to those who recycle the shells, and most importantly help rebuild the state's oyster stock.
The new policy will hopefully curb the state's declining oyster population. If oyster shells are returned back to the ocean, they create a great environment for new oysters to grow on. As new oysters grow a habitat is formed for bigger and more diverse fish. So a rather small investment not only helps out the oyster industry, but also fisheries.
The plan will offer citizens and businesses a $1 tax incentive for every bushel (55 pounds) of shells. At present 18 counties offer this service, that number is expected to expand in reaction to the legislature's ban on the landfilling of oyster shells. Although the individual counties are responsible for the collection, the state is covering the costs of picking up the shells and transporting them to their next destination. The shells will not only be used for habitat fill, but also for building material, trail bedding and mulch. To find a program like this near you visit this site.