Recycling Water Filter Cartridges


Enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Americans alone used about 50 billion plastic water bottles just in the last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year. For every gallon of water produced using a water filter, 8 plastic water bottles are kept out of landfills. The use of refrigerator water filters frees up landfill space by encouraging the use of tap water, thereby eliminating excessive amounts of plastic waste generated from bottled water. When it comes time to change your water filter, you might be wondering how to responsibly dispose of your old filter without contributing to the damage of the environment. Well, it turns out that there are many programs set in place to help ease the recycling process of your used water filters.

Brita Water Filters

If you are using a Brita water filter, you’re in luck! Brita has a recycling program in place to take care of responsibly disposing of your old water filter for you. Simply follow these steps:

1.)    Remove your water filter from its housing and dispose of the filter media. You can scatter any excess sand or carbon from the filter in your yard or trash receptacle.

2.)    Allow the filter to dry out completely for 2-3 days.

3.)    Place and wrap the cartridge in a garbage liner or trash bag and then pack into a box.

4.)    From here you can print off a free shipping label on the Brita website and mail the filter cartridge to an appropriate recycling facility.

GE Water Filters

GE is also doing their part to ease the process of responsible recycling of their line of water filters. If you have one of the hundreds of thousands of General Electric’s refrigerators you’ll receive a recycling packet for your old filter when your order a new one. It comes with a pre-paid shipping package for you to mail it back in. GE has pledged to recycle 100% of the filter. For users looking to recycle their GE water filters:

1.)    Remove the filter from its housing and drain the excess water.

2.)    Allow the filter to dry out completely for 2-3 days.

3.)    Place the filter inside a plastic trash bag and put inside of a sealed mail envelope or pre-paid shipping package supplied by GE.

4.)    Follow the instructions on the pre-paid shipping package or address the mail envelope to:

Stericycle Expert Sustainability
ATTN: Water Filter Recycling
2770 Fortune Circle Drive East
Indianapolis, IN 46241

PUR Water Filterswater filter

PUR has partnered with TerraCycle® to help keep their products out of landfills. TerraCycle® can recycle all PUR products including pitchers, faucet mount systems, all types of PUR filters, and even the packaging. To dispose of your PUR filter properly, follow these guidelines:

1.)    Sign up for the PUR Brigade® to start collecting your used PUR filters or old products.

2.)    Properly remove your filter and allow it to dry completely.

3.)    Wrap your filter in a plastic bag or garbage liner and then place into the PUR Brigade® box.

4.)    Once you have a full box, drop it off at a UPS location using your FREE shipping label from the TerraCycle® website.

5.)    TerraCycle® will receive your waste and start the recycling process.

Whirlpool Water Filters

For users wanting to recycle their Whirlpool water filters, the company has partnered with g2 revolution. Here are the instructions for mailing in your Whirlpool filter:

1.)    Remove your used water filter from refrigerator and allow to dry out completely.

2.)    Place the filter inside a plastic bag and into an appropriate mail envelope or box.

3.)    Mail used refrigerator water filter to g2 revolution®. A small shipping fee may be charged.

From this point, data is collected, and the water filter is shipped to a co-processor. Energy is then produced for future use, and the remaining filter materials are incorporated into concrete.

ZeroWater Filters

ZeroWater offers a recycling form to help users responsibly dispose of their used filter cartridges. Simply fill out this form and attach it to the container holding your used filter cartridges. ZeroWater even offers a $10.00 coupon for every  two water filters returned to help off-set the shipping expense of USPS standard rate shipping.


If you have a water filter that is not one of the above brands, don’t fret! There are still recycling options available to you. There are third-party organizations such as RecycleWaterFilters.com who will take used water filters sent in, and properly recycle them for you. There are countless ways to properly recycle your old water filter. If you would rather put your used water filter with the rest of your recycling, contact your local recycler to find out what level of plastic they accept. Some may only accept plastics #1 and #2, while others accept up to #5 and higher. Check your water filter to see what type of plastic the shell is. If you are having trouble finding this information, contact the filter manufacturer. Placing a clean filter cartridge in the proper recycling receptacle is a simple step to making a larger difference in the conservation of resources and a cleaner world.

4 thoughts on “Recycling Water Filter Cartridges”

  1. I just ordered MWF filters from you and was hoping for recycling options. I decided to order from you because I found out from a GE representative last week that they have discontinued their recycling program.

    • You aren’t the first customer to ask this question! We are currently working on developing a responsible recycling program to properly dispose of used filters because, as you said, many are discontinuing their recycling program. Until we launch our recycling initiative however, you can drain your old filter of any water, dispose of any used carbon, wrap the filter in a plastic bag, and go to your city’s local recycling center where they can give you further information. Living green is a responsibility that we stand by, and we aim to do our part in reducing unnecessary plastic waste.

  2. Unfortunately Pur no longer supports the recycling program and has locked out all new members, have no idea if they even support previous ones anymore, and even advised some customers to just throw the filters in the trash! Please update your site. Thanks.

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