Why Recycle Water Filters?
Water filters are an excellent method to ensure that the water you consume is clean and free of harmful chemicals. Despite being treated at a plant, tap water still contains germs and chemicals that might be harmful to your health over time.
Fortunately, a variety of filter jugs and home filtration systems are now available that can remove the great majority of harmful contaminants from your drinking water.
With good maintenance and care, these filters may last a long period, but you will ultimately need to replace them. If you have an old water filter and are unsure how to properly dispose of it, use this article as a guide. We’ll show you how to tell whether your water filter is on its last legs, how to recycle a range of common brands, and how to properly maintain your water filter so it lasts as long as possible.
What Makes Water Filters Difficult to Recycle?
There are many various types of water filtration systems available today, and the majority of them employ a replacement filter cartridge. This implies that if you filter your drinking water, you will almost certainly have filters to recycle.
The issue is that each of these filters is built from a different type of material. Some are mostly composed of plastic, while others are mostly built of metal. Don’t forget about the many elements responsible for the filtration process inside the filters, such as carbon and particular filter membranes, which might contain arsenic and other potentially hazardous compounds.
Because of the variances in filters, each one will have to go through a different recycling procedure. As a result, you can’t just drop off a number of various filters at a local recycling plant; they won’t be able to manage the unique characteristics of those water filters.
How Can You Tell If Your Water Filter Is Too Old?
Before you start looking into how to recycle your water filter, here are a few pointers on determining whether your filter is indeed too old to use.
It’s important to note that the focus of this post will be on filter cartridge recycling. The jug itself (the refrigeration system) will stay functional once a new cartridge is put, but most filters will need to be updated every now and again.
The typical water filter cartridge has a lifetime of six to twelve months. Your water filter’s manufacturer and model will determine this. It also depends on how good your tap water is. If the pollutants in your tap water are especially high, your water filter will need to be replaced more regularly.
Why You Should Recycle Your Water Filters
Water filters are made up of a number of different components, some of which are more easily recyclable than others. However, if you have an old filter, you must determine which pieces may be recycled and where they can be recycled.
You will be contributing to the vast quantity of plastic waste if you simply throw your filter in the garbage. You risk contaminating an entire batch of recycling and causing even more trash if you throw the complete filter in the recycling program.
While some businesses have recycling programs in place, others do not. Here are a few big water filter companies that have recycling programs in place.
Can You Recycle the Entire Water Filter Pitcher/Jug?
The majority of jugs are composed of plastic. You should be able to recycle the jug depending on the type of plastic used. Plastics are labeled with numbers ranging from one to seven. Find out how many layers of plastic your container contains.
Types one, two, and four, in some cases, are all easily recyclable. Type three can never be recycled. If you’re unsure, contact the manufacturer to see if the jug may be recycled.
How To Dispose of Water Filters?
We appreciate your concern for the environment and your desire to properly dispose of your old water filters. Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not currently provide a recycling scheme.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of throwing them away. You can also call a local recycling center in your area. They may accept the cartridges or provide you with more advice on how to use them.
You can inquire with your filter manufacturer’s customer service to see if they have a recycling program. If they answered yes, then you must follow their directions. Normally, the filter must be allowed to dry for a few days before use. After that, cover it in plastic and mail it in a suitable container. Some manufacturers will even provide you a free pre-stamped envelope to mail your filters in.
If the response is “no,” inquire about the filter shell’s plastic type (#1, #2, #3, #4, or #5). You can also examine the shell on your own. It will be printed with a number encircled by three arrows. Then, contact your local recycler to see which types of plastic they take. If at all feasible, recycle. Otherwise, toss it in the garbage.
Cutting open your spent cartridges to dump out the filtering media before discarding the plastic in the recycle bin, according to some, is fine. Others advise against it since the media is likely to contain significant levels of toxins that have been removed from your tap or well water.
You may be exposed to these toxins if you cut open a filter cartridge. We don’t think this is a problem – you may wear gloves if you want – but it’s entirely up to you (as long as you don’t throw anything in your garden that will release all of the toxins back into the ecosystem).
The Gimme 5 recycling program does not accept water filters, although allows you to drop off any #5 polypropylene plastic at your local Whole Foods Market.
Recycling EverPure Filters
Everpure is a corporation devoted to making the recycling process as simple as possible. The Everpure cartridges are recyclable since they are constructed of aluminum and plastic. To recycle Everpure filters, get in touch with the firm to arrange a drop-off facility near you. If you don’t have access to a recycling center near you, you can send your cartridges to one.
Recycling Filtrete Water Station
Filtrete makes use of #2 plastic, which can be recycled easily. This is the same sort of plastic that is used to produce regular milk jugs. To recycle, separate the filter from the plastic by spinning the top until it pops off, removing the filtering material inside (which you may toss), and recycling the plastic components with your other recyclables.
Recycling Mavea Water Filters
Mavea used to provide a filter recycling service where you could send them your old water filter cartridges for recycling. They’ll dismantle them and use the materials to make new ones. This software, however, is no longer accessible.
According to the manufacturer, you should check your local legislation to see if you may recycle your water filter cartridges with your regular garbage. Most towns allow water filter cartridges to be recycled in the home.
How To Recycle Brita Water Filters?
Brita has a robust recycling program in place. Dry the used filters by hand, removing any excess water, and allowing them to air dry for at least three days. Before shipping, Brita filters suggests collecting at least five pounds of recyclable items. Wrap the filters in a recyclable bag and place them in a box after you have enough. Create an account on Brita’s website and print a free shipping label.
Brita water filters creates a variety of goods using recycled materials, including toothbrushes, razor handles, and cutting boards. Contaminants in used filters are removed and regenerated for future use.
How To Recycle Zero Water Filters?
For its water filters, Zero Water has an in-house recycling scheme. You won’t need any filters worth five pounds to mail them in, either. Simply return two full-size filters and complete this form. When you do, you’ll get a $20 voucher good for any four-pack of Zero Water filters, which will save you a lot of money on your water filtering expenditures.
Zero Waste Box
TerraCycle, the same firm that partnered with Brita to offer recycling services, offers another option to recycle water filters, or any filters for that matter. Unfortunately, it isn’t the best way to recycle. You’ll earn credit for the filters you recycle through the Brita recycling program, and you won’t have to pay anything.
However, with a zero-waste box, you must first purchase the box before filling it with recyclables. In essence, you’re paying to recycle your water filters, which makes them more expensive than they were when purchased.
Throw them away
While it’s usually preferable to recycle your water filters if at all possible, it’s not always practical. You could be out of luck if you use off-brand filters and don’t want to pay for a zero-waste box because you can’t just take your filters to the local recycling facility.
If this is the case, you may want to consider simply tossing them away. While it isn’t ideal, it may be the only option you have unless you want to spend all of your money on a zero-waste box.
Emptying a water filter
You may have noticed that it is occasionally suggested that you open up your water filters and empty the contents. However, this is not a good idea, and we do not suggest it.
When you pour away the contents of your filter, you’re returning the toxins to the environment, where they might pollute again. Even some of the components utilized in the filter’s construction, such as silver, which is used in certain water filters, might be damaging to the environment.
Can You Recycle Refrigerator Water Filters?
Refrigerator water filters must be changed just like conventional water filters. Bacteria can develop in its cartridges, resulting in low-quality water. You may find out if the maker of your refrigerator water filter has a recycling program by contacting them. If they don’t, here’s another application that can handle a variety of filters.
Simply check their website to see whether they accept your filter’s brand. If they do, simply get a free shipping label or purchase one to stick on your package and you’re ready to go. GE Appliances has a recycling program as well. It is, however, no longer available.
Filtration systems can help you lower your carbon footprint significantly. You may limit the number of plastic bottles you buy by using a decent water filter. However, if you discard rather than recycle your old water filter cartridges, you will accumulate a significant amount of garbage.
Make the greatest effort to determine whether or not recycling is a possibility for your water filter brand. Inquire with the firm about whether or not they have a recycling program.
Beware of scams
Conduct extensive research on the firm you intend to hire to recycle your items. If your water filter manufacturer does not have a recycling program, you could be enticed to utilize one of the many internet firms that claim to recycle your spent cartridges for a price. Avoid paying for recycling programmes unless you are certain the provider is legitimate.
Do not cut open yourself
You may also discover online instructional videos and tutorials that show you how to disassemble the cartridge and recycle the individual components. This is extremely risky because you risk exposing your family and house to the deadly toxins that have accumulated in your filter over the last few months.
Contact local stores
Rather than doing it yourself, do some research to see whether stores in your region provide filter recycling services. Filter recycling is available at places like Home Depot and Whole Foods, for example.
Change your filter as recommended
Always remember to replace your water filter cartridges on a regular basis. The most crucial thing is that you maintain a clean and safe water supply.
Bottled water has a far bigger environmental footprint than filtered water, whether recycled or not. Even if your filter manufacturer doesn’t offer a recycling program, you’re still helping the environment. If you haven’t yet purchased a filtration system or are intending to replace an existing one, look for a manufacturer that prioritizes recycling.