HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina wildlife officials have set up bins to collect oyster shells, which are used to rebuild reefs used by oysters.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reported (http://bit.ly/2pT2gKP) the Department of Natural Resources has set up 30 locations for the public to recycle oyster shells.

Ben Dyar with the Natural Resources Department says used shells from backyard oyster roasts and by-the-bushel retail sales usually are not returned to the water.

Officials say recycled shells are the best material to rebuild reefs.

Dyar says the agency replanted 40,000 bushels of oyster shells last year. He says only 30,000 bushels were from recycling efforts.

Dyar says the agency has had to buy shells from out-of-state producers to make up for the difference at a cost of up to $5 per bushel.

___

Information from: The Island Packet, http://www.islandpacket.com