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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Zero Heroes rescue 800kg of oyster shells

Eurobodalla’s Zero Heroes saved a whopping 800 kilograms of oyster shells from landfill at the Narooma Oyster Festival earlier this month.

It was the first event that put Eurobodalla Council’s zero-waste volunteer group to the test.

Council’s sustainability education officer Alex King said it was tough work, but a huge success. She thanked the 20 volunteers who accomplished the mission to minimise waste over the three-day festival, 5-7 May.

“I am astounded by the efforts, commitment and encouragement from the volunteers - I couldn’t have imagined a better group of Zero Heroes at our very first event,” Ms King said.

“We were thrilled to have collected and processed over 800 kilograms of oyster shells, which is roughly the weight of a small car!”

From the 9,500 people at the festival, more than 60,000 oysters were consumed.

“At last year’s event it was such a waste knowing the shells of freshly shucked oysters were dumped in landfill,” Ms King said.

Council’s waste team and festival organisers came up with a reusable-waste plan for the shells.

“We had Zero Heroes monitoring bins, sorting oyster shells, sorting Return and Earn containers and educating patrons about what waste goes where,” Ms King said.

Volunteers washed and sterilised the shells ready to be recycled into art and artificial reefs.

“It was hard work, but rewarding,” Ms King said.

“Half of the oyster shells were taken by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope who has been commissioned to do an artwork commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House.

“The remaining shells were taken by Ozfish to create artificial reefs in Queensland and Victoria.”

Ms King said the Zero Heroes received “mountains of positive feedback” from festival goers.

“For our first event, it was a great learning experience – festival goers stopped to think about their waste and asked questions about what to do with it,” Ms King said.

“We are determined to work with more event organisers to unleash the Zero Heroes again; helping shape the way our community treats waste and saves resources.”

To join the Zero Heroes, contact Alexandra.King@esc.nsw.gov.au or visit the volunteers page on Council’s website.


About: Zero Hero Barbara Roberts monitors a waste station by the beautiful Wagonga Inlet.

About: Zero Hero Lisa Brown sorts oyster shells, checking there’s no contamination.

About: The 800kg of oyster shells from the festival ready to be washed and sterilised.

About: Volunteers take a break before continuing their superhero efforts saving oyster shells from landfill.

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