A collaboration between Eurobodalla Council and the Narooma Oyster Festival will see up to 20 cubic metres of waste diverted from landfill in the form of used oyster shells.
Last year 75,000 oysters were eaten at the festival, ending up in landfill.
"In previous years we were able to recycle shells, but as the festival grew it became a big challenge for the small team, which is largely volunteers. We're able to do it this year with the support of council," Narooma Oyster Festival chair Cath Peachey said.
Council's Waste Management and Environmental Services teams have worked with the festival to develop a plan for recycling shells this year to reduce the environmental impact of the festival.
"We came up with different waste bins to help divert different waste streams at the festival, one being the leftover oyster shells," Project Officer Alexandra King said.
One question remained, what can 75,000 oyster shells be used for?
Once Council collects the oyster shells at the end of the festival it will take them to a farm at Jeremadra where the shells will be crushed down and processed into a soil amendment as part of an ongoing soil regeneration project headed by Claire McAsh and her brother Ewan, who also own McAsh oysters on the Clyde River.
Because oyster shells contain high levels of micronutrients and calcium, which raises the pH level in soil, it can be used for soil regeneration.
"The property is on really degraded land that was historically for gold mining, so there's no topsoil," Ewan McAsh said.
"We're already doing it with our own oyster shells because we have our oyster farm in Batemans Bay so when we were approached by Eurobodalla Shire Council who asked if we had a use for the leftover shells, we said yes."
Recycled bottles and cans will also go to a good cause. Narooma Marine Rescue will collect and recycle the bottles from the festival, keeping the refund as a donation.
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