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Center City Restaurant Sends Its Oyster Shells Back To Nature

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A center city seafood restaurant is keeping its shucked oyster shells out of the landfill and putting them back into the ecosystem.

The Oyster House, in the 1500 block of Sansom Street, sells about 1,500 oysters and a few hundred clams per day.

Instead of throwing the shells in the trash, they are placed in bins and picked up by a nonprofit, New Jersey-based environmental group, the BaySave Foundation.

The shells are put back into the bay to become a reef for new oysters.

"I think it's really cool that we are closing the loop," says Sam Mink, the restaurant's owner (in photo below), "that we are not only recycling the oyster shells but they are taking the shells and putting them in the bottom of the bay for new oysters to grow on.  But we are then buying those oysters -- we are buying Delaware Bay oysters, oysters from around Cape May and the Delaware Bay -- and we are selling them here."


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(Sam Mink, owner of Oyster House, near 15th and Sansom Streets. Photo by John McDevitt)

Mink says the restaurant has cut its trash pickup bill in half by participating in the program.


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