If you want to keep the water and ice coming out of your refrigerator fresh, then you will need to be changing that water filter every six months. Of course, this means that you will be getting through water filters like crazy. So, can you recycle refrigerator water filters?
You can recycle refrigerator water filters. They are mostly made of plastic but they often aren’t accepted by local recycling centers. You should contact the manufacturer to find out where to send them. You can also check with stores that sell them to see if they will accept them.
Let’s take a look!
Can You Recycle Refrigerator Water Filters?
Yes. In fact, it is easy to do.
These water filters are mostly plastic and, just like all plastics, it can be broken down and made into something completely new.
The only real difficulty with recycling refrigerator water filters is determining where to take them.
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Where Can You Recycle Them?
Now, with most plastics, you will be able to head to your local recycling facilities and they will be more than happy to take them off of your hands. The problem is that water filters are not like normal plastics.
The nature of water filters means that all sorts of things are going to be stuck in them. Grime. Bacteria. The works.
This means that your average recycling center is going to be unable to take them in. Some may, but we wouldn’t really count on it.
If you want to recycle the water filter properly, then you will probably need to send it back to the manufacturer of your refrigerator. Most of them will have some sort of recycling program in place. Quite often, when you buy a new water filter for your fridge, there will be some information inside about what to do with your old one.
In some cases, you may also be able to take the water filter to a store that sells refrigerators. Some of them may have collection points set up.
How Are They Recycled?
It is tough to state exactly how each water filter is recycled. This is because it will quite often be done by the manufacturer, and most of them will probably have their own processes in place. However, we can imagine that it is going to be pretty much the same as standard plastic recycling.
The recycler will likely start by breaking down the filter. They will wear protection as they do this, just in case they come into contact with the bacteria inside of the water filter. They will separate all the components into piles.
This way they can recycle each item in the correct manner. It also allows them to easily dispose of anything that cannot be recycled.
It is the long ‘break down’ part of water filter recycling that results in most recycling centers not being able to handle them. This is because these centers have a ton of recycling coming their way and this means that they really do not have time to break down each water filter.
This isn’t a problem for fridge manufacturers. This is because they will likely only ever be breaking down the same products.
The next step will likely involve the plastic being ground up. The idea is to create something that is very similar to a powder. This makes it a lot easier to heat up.
The plastic from the water filter will then be heated up to the point that it has melted. At this stage, the recycling team will add a few chemicals into the molten plastic. This will help to ensure that the plastic is as pure as possible. Everything else will be filtered out of the mixture.
Once they are confident that the plastic is pure, it will be cooled down in various molds. It can now be used for whatever the company wants. This will normally be to create more water filters.
Do You Have to Prepare Refrigerator Water Filters Before Recycling?
No, you do not.
All you really need to do is take the water filter out of the refrigerator and then find the company that you want to recycle it.
Ideally, if the water filter is a little bit wet, then you would let it dry out first. This is something that will probably take just a few hours, so it probably isn’t going to be a cause for concern for most people.
If you are sending the water filter back in the mail to the manufacturer, then it is important that you bag things up properly. Make sure that the water filter is properly protected. If it isn’t, then it could cause issues for the recycling team.
Can You Throw Them in the Trash?
Yes, but it isn’t recommended.
You can recycle refrigerator water filters, and when you can recycle something, you should try to do it as often as possible.
When buried in a landfill, the water filter isn’t really going to be helping anybody. In fact, it is going to be doing a lot more harm to the environment than good.
Can You Reuse Refrigerator Water Filters?
We know that there are some people out there that will reuse their water filters. We do love the fact that people are attempting to be respectful of the environment when they do this. However, we strongly encourage you to never reuse water filters.
The whole purpose of a water filter is to try and keep the water that flows through it as pure as possible. This means that there will be all sorts of dirt and grime inside the water filter. It is also going to be a breeding ground for bacteria. This means that if you do not clean out the water filter properly before you reuse it, then you could end up getting very sick.
If you really do care about the environment that much, then return the water filter to the manufacturer. They will ensure that it is recycled in a way that benefits the planet.
You can recycle refrigerator water filters. All you need to do is ensure that you return the product to the manufacturer.
They will do all of the hard work for you. All you need to remember is to replace your water filter every 6-months!