With nearly 40 million oysters sold, cracked, and served up in busy restaurants, you're left with a lot of one thing: the shells.
Todd Janeski with the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice River Center had the idea of conserving the valuable item.
"We take them from the restaurant and we cure them,we age them, for about six months to a year, " said Janeski. "Once that curing process is complete, they're moved into a jacuzzi-like tank where baby oysters are looking for a hard surface to attach to, those oyster shells are the preferred material."
The Shell Recycling Program started in Richmond in 2013 and has now expanded into Charlottesville. Todd and partners reached out to local seafood spots to get them involved.