Can You Recycle Refrigerator Water Filters

How to Properly Dispose of Your Used Refrigerator Water Filter

If you want to keep the fresh water and ice from your refrigerator, you must change that water filter every six months. Of course, this means you will get 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. It is easy to do.

These water filters are mostly plastic and, like all plastics, can be broken down and made into something completely new.

The only difficulty with recycling refrigerator water filters is determining where to take them.

Where Can You Recycle Them?

Now, with most plastics, you can head to your local recycling facilities, and they will be more than happy to take them off your hands. The problem is that water filters are not like regular plastics.

The nature of water filters means that all sorts of things will be stuck in them. Grime. Bacteria. The works.

This means that your average recycling center cannot take them in. Some may, but we wouldn’t count on it.

If you want to recycle the water filter correctly, you will probably need to send it back to your refrigerator manufacturer. Most of them will have some 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.

Recycling Refrigerator Filters

How Are They Recycled?

It is tough to state precisely how each water filter is recycled. This is because the manufacturer will often do it, and most of them will probably have their processes in place. However, we can imagine it will 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 the water filter. They will separate all the components into piles.

This way, they can correctly recycle each item. It also allows them to easily dispose of anything that cannot be recycled.

The long ‘break down’ part of water filter recycling results in most recycling centers being unable to handle them. This is because these centers have a ton of recycling coming their way, which means they 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 be breaking down the same products.

The next step will likely involve the plastic being ground up. The idea is to create something very similar to a powder. This makes it a lot easier to heat up.

The plastic from the water filter will then be heated to the point that it has melted. The recycling team will add a few chemicals to the molten plastic at this stage. 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 need to do is take the water filter out of the refrigerator and find the company where you want to recycle it.

Ideally, if the water filter is a little wet, you would let it dry out first. This will probably take just a few hours, so it isn’t a cause for concern for most people.

If you send the water filter back in the mail to the manufacturer, you must bag things up properly. Make sure that the water filter is adequately protected. If it isn’t, 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; when you recycle something, you should try to do it as often as possible.

When buried in a landfill, the water filter isn’t going to be helping anybody. It will do 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 that people are attempting to be respectful of the environment when they do this. However, we strongly encourage you never to 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 there will be all sorts of dirt and grime inside the water filter. It is also going to be a breeding ground for bacteria. You could get very sick if you do not clean the water filter properly before reusing it.

Return the water filter to the manufacturer if you care about the environment. They will ensure that it is recycled to benefit the planet.


It’s possible to recycle refrigerator water filters, however, it may be difficult to find a local recycling center that will accept them due to the nature of water filters containing grime and bacteria. The best action is to contact the manufacturer or take them to a store that sells refrigerators to see if they have a recycling program.

The recycling process involves breaking down the filter, separating the components, and heating the plastic to create a pure mixture that can then be cooled and molded into new water filters. It is important to note that the water filter should be dry before recycling and properly bagged if sent in the mail.

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