THE people running this recycling project are not after plastic bottles or aluminium cans — they want oyster shells.

Moreton Bay Regional Council has agreed to enter into a five-year community lease with aquatic animal health experts, Digsfish Services, to help their groundbreaking work to restore shellfish reefs and improve water quality in the Pumicestone Passage.

Mayor Allan Sutherland said the council had agreed to lease a 600sq m area of land within the Ningi Transfer Station, where Digsfish Services proposes to establish an oyster shell recycling station.

Spearheaded by Banksia Beach marine biologist and Moreton Bay Regional Council’s 2017 Environment Award Winner, Dr Ben Diggles, Digsfish is part of the Restore Pumicestone Passage environmental group. One of their main goals is to restore shellfish reefs along the passage.

“Council is also looking to donate a shipping container and a water tank from our trash and treasure market, to assist with Digsfish’s project,” Cr Sutherland said.

Dr Diggles said when baby oysters were in their larval stage they needed to attach themselves to the shells of other oysters.

He plans to establish an oyster shell recycling station, which would allow shells to be collected, cleaned and dried, before being placed into the passage.

“This facility will provide more opportunities for the community to get involved in our shellfish restoration project,” Dr Diggles said.

“It’s exciting because for the first time we’ll have an opportunity to engage all local residents, local businesses and our schools in actively restoring Pumicestone Passage. Through this project hopefully our kids will learn about marine restoration projects in a practical way — what a great opportunity to teach the next generation about our local marine environment.”