Living along the South Carolina coast we’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that you should only eat oysters in months that contain the letter “R”. In other words, January is prime oyster roast season, and while you may not have thought about getting a dumpster rental in Conway, SC for your oyster roast, it is something you should definitely do. In this blog post we will break down the history of the old wives’ tale, the benefits of oysters, why it is important to recycle them, and how we can help with your next oyster roast.
A Background on the Old Wives’ Tale
The old wives’ tale about only eating oysters in months that contain the letter “R” has some truth to it, although things are changing a bit. Historically, oysters were harvested from the wild, and during the summer months (May-August) the season was generally closed so that oysters could reproduce as they spawn when the water temperature is warmer. During these months, the taste of the oysters will change as they go into reproductive mode and they will taste terrible as well as have a different texture. Additionally, back before the days of refrigeration eating oysters that had been sitting out in the hot South Carolina sun isn’t exactly best practice for food storage.
So what has changed? In addition to improvements in monitoring and advancements in food storage, many oysters we eat now are farmed. These oyster farms are often times in the colder waters of the northern Pacific and Atlantic coasts meaning they can produce edible oysters year round. They also breed a different type of oyster called triploids, which are sterile, meaning they want have the same side effects of spawning that oysters in the wild do. That being said, we still recommend getting oysters locally so you can support local fisheries and fishermen.
Why Oysters are Important to South Carolina (and Conway)
Oysters are an extremely valuable part of the South Carolina coast and their effects can be felt further inland in places like Conway as well. For example, oysters can filter up to 50 gallons per day and provide a valuable service of cleaning the waterways which we enjoy year round. Another valuable benefit of oysters are the reefs they form which provide habitats for other animals such as shrimp, crabs, fish and other marine species. Additionally, these reefs are our first line of defense from wave energy and storms by acting as a natural breakwater absorbing waves and protecting shore lines from erosion. Lastly, the provide an economic impact for our state ranging in the tens of millions of dollars.
Why Oyster Recycling is Important
For starters, anytime we can reuse or recycle something it is better than just throwing it away, and oyster shells are no different. By recycling oyster shells we avoid having them end up in a landfill, taking up space for things that can’t be disposed of in another manner. Not to mention avoiding going to a landfill and recycling is better for the environment. As we mentioned earlier, oyster reefs prevent coastal and help with protecting our coastline from tropical storms and hurricanes which have been on the rise along the SC coast.
Another reason recycling oyster shells is important is because oyster larvae need a hard service to attach to in order to grow into a new oyster. The best surface for these larvae to attach to? You guessed it, old oyster shells. The spat, another word for oyster larvae, float around for about two weeks being carried by the currents and then look for a surface upon which to attach and begin building their shells of calcium carbonate. They will spend the remainder of their life cycle where they have attached. So putting the oysters back in the ecosystem is a vital part of helping to ensure the survival of the species.
One of the most important reasons for recycling oyster shells, especially in South Carolina, is the fact that we as a state operate at a deficit as far as the number of bushels of oysters we harvest to what is replaced each year. In other words, it’s the green thing to do. Currently, estimates produced by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources say this could be as high as 10,000 bushels a year (that’s a lot of oysters). Replacing these is crucial to ensuring we have this salty delicacy for years to come along our coast line.
How Big Red Box- Coastal Can Help
As a locally owned and operated roll-off dumpster company, we care about our community and the environment surrounding it, including its waterways. Many of our employees live along, or even on the coast, and most of us enjoy an oyster on the half-shell, steamed, or even fried from time-to-time. So unlike a lot of those nationwide, Fortune 500 companies, we will do all we can to handle each type of waste stream in the best method possible for our community. So what does this mean for your oyster roast? It means if you are having an upcoming oyster roast and need someone to haul away your old shells, we will be more than happy to do so. By working with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources we will make sure that the oysters shells are put back in their natural habitat ensuring future generations of oyster growth, and avoiding taking up precious space in landfills that could be used for waste that can be disposed of in another method. Another reason for recycling your oyster shells with us is because it will be a more cost effective method, saving you money, and will also save you time by putting the disposal process on us.
Lastly, we can deliver multiple trash containers for your event ensuring you have a dumpster for each type of material you will be getting rid of. Need a recyclable dumpster for beer cans and red solo cups? We’ve got you covered. A dumpster for trash and other materials that would need to go to a Municipal Solid Waste (Class 3) Landfill? We can handle that as well. In other words, we free you up to do what your supposed to do at an oyster roast, have a good time.
So next time you are thinking of hiring a company to help with your next oyster roast, or any event for that matter, go with someone who is knowledgeable about the rules and regulations concerning waste disposal, but also has a vested interest in the community. This ensures your event will go off without a hitch and those hard earned dollars you spend on dumpsters will be reinvested in the local community rather than going to some out of state company.
If you still have any questions about this or any other type of project you may have, give us a call. From our offices in Conway and North Charleston we service from Little River to Edisto, covering nearly two-thirds of the South Carolina coast. Additionally, our sister offices Big Red Box in Columbia, and Deacon Dumpsters in Greenville, can service you in areas we can’t. Call us today at 843-300-8664