Waste mussel shells from the New Zealand aquaculture industry have been investigated as a potential source of lime for use in waste water treatment. The calcination of raw mussel shells to lime was studied as a function of particle size, temperature, heating rate, treatment time and atmosphere. Lime formation went through a maximum with respect to particle size for all heating conditions, as a result of competition between increased surface area and a tendency for particle to form necks resulting in caking. Optimised heat treatment conditions resulted in transformations of more than 95%. Preliminary experiments to investigate removal of phosphates from model waste water solutions showed that raw shells had limited ability due to a mechanism that relies on adsorption only. For these raw materials the finer particle sizes removed more phosphate due to increased surface area. The heat treated mussel shells on the other hand were shown to remove greater than 95% of the phosphates for both fine and coarse size ranges due to a precipitation mechanism of phosphate removal. This work demonstrates the potential for using mussels as an alternative to limestone for phosphate removal, at the same time overcoming the expensive and problematic issues of waste disposal.