Charles County, ORP Open Shell Recycling Centers

Charles County Environmental Resources Division, ORP Announce New Public Shell Recycling Locations

Shells Will Provide Homes for New Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay

The Charles County Commissioners, in partnership with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), announce the opening of public oyster shell recycling facilities in CharlesCounty. With additional counties offering shell drop-off sites, Maryland citizens can now recycle oyster shells in eight counties.

Oyster shell recycling services are available in Charles County at the following locations:

Charles CountyLandfill Recycling Center
12305 Billingsley Road, Waldorf, MD 20602
Monday through Saturday: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Breeze Farm Recycling Center
15950 Cobb Island Road, Cobb Island, MD 20625
Wednesday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Gilbert Run Recycling Center
13140 Charles Street, La Plata, MD 20646
Wednesday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pisgah Recycling Center
6645 Mason Springs Road, Pisgah, MD 20640
Monday through Saturday: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Once individuals or restaurants drop off their shells, they can register the donation online at to get their tax credit. ORP will collect the shells and transport them to the UMD Horn Point Oyster Hatchery.
Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly said “It is great to see Charles County have an active role in restoring our oyster population and playing a part to protect the Chesapeake Bay.”
“This is a partnership that will reward the citizens of Charles County. Now it’s easier for the residents of our County, who are always eager to join in efforts to restore the Bay, to do so,” said Commissioner Vice President Reuben B. Collins, II (District 3).
Commissioner Ken Robinson (District 1) said “Restoring the oyster population is one of the easiest ways to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. I have participated personally in the oyster spat program for several years. With more than 200 miles of shoreline in Charles County where there is an abundance of oyster shells, our citizens can help play a significant role in improving one of our nation’s most valuable natural assets.”
Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. (District 2) said “This new program is a plus for our many waterways and is one to which we may all contribute.”
“I’m pleased we are able to offer our residents the opportunity to take advantage of Maryland’s shell recycling tax incentive. It’s one more way we can help restore the Bay,” said Commissioner Bobby Rucci (District 4).
“One of our goals is to make it convenient for citizens and restaurants throughout Maryland to recycle shells and have a personal impact on the restoration of Chesapeake Bay oysters,” said Stephan Abel, Executive Director of the Oyster Recovery Partnership. “With new drop-off sites in Southern Maryland, tens of thousands more citizens can participate in ORP’s shell recycling program.”
ORP’s Shell Recycling Alliance has recycled 1,200 tons of shell since 2009. However, this provides only 10 percent of Maryland’s annual shell needs for oyster restoration efforts currently underway.
Scientists need recycled shells to raise hatchery oysters to plant on oyster reefs throughout the bay. The shells provide the best material for baby oysters to attach to as they grow. Maryland hatcheries have developed techniques to raise more oysters, but they need additional shell to keep up with a growing number of hatchery-produced oysters. Each recycled shell can provide homes for 10 new oysters.
In 2013, the University of Maryland Horn Point Lab Oyster Hatchery in Cambridge, Md., raised and planted 1.2 billion baby oysters, the first time any hatchery in the nation produced more than one billion Eastern oyster spat in a single season.
For additional questions regarding drop-off locations, contact 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For additional questions regarding the Shell Recycling Alliance, contact 410-990-4970 or email
These recycling locations make it easier for restaurants and residents to take advantage of Maryland’s shell recycling tax incentives. Beginning in 2013, Maryland residents and restaurants have been able to receive a one dollar tax credit per bushel of recycled oyster shells, up to $750 a year.