Filters are not recyclable in curbside carts or many (if any) recycling centers.
Brita teamed up with TerraCycle to recycle its products. All the recycling is done through Brita, you’ll mail Brita your used items. You can set up a Brita account to “earn My Brita™ points redeemable for amazing rewards” which do include new filters so this is a great deal!
Berkey water filters are recyclable through TerraCycle’s Filters- Zero Waste Box, Filters – Zero Waste Pouch, Water Filters Zero Waste Box or All-in-One Zero Waste Box.
Berkey does not take back their water filters to recycle and in fact does not recommend recycling Black Berkey filters on their website.
PUR filters can be recycled through TerraCycle, and according to a Google Search (PUR’s website doesn’t mention recycling) PUR has teamed up with RecycleNation to make recycling easy, “Simply enter your Zip Code to find a drop-off location near you to recycle your used PUR products.” A search for my zip code shows no information or results. So I’d stick with TerraCycle for PUR.
Note: This is my fridge’s PUR ice & water filter. It is PUR brand, but as you see the filter doesn’t say PUR, though the box did.
These are some of the big players in household water filtration and the ones commonly available at mainstream box stores. If you are looking to purchase a pitcher, water bottle, sink mount, or home system, check the manufacturer’s website to see if they recycle their products. Most of these filters are made of a sturdy plastic exterior that should at least be considered for recycling.
Basically any type of air filter or water filter can be recycled through one of TerraCycle’s filter boxes:
– Filters – Zero Waste Box
– Filters – Zero Waste Pouch
– Water Filters – Zero Waste Box
– All-in-One – Zero Waste Box
Only TerraCycle’s Water Filters Zero Waste Box allows you to also include any type of pitcher, bottle or dispenser. The other filter boxes say they are only for filters.
Air filter-wise, TerraCycle will take these in theory, “Please send us any brand and size of the screening device that removes unwanted particles from the air or water. This includes used paper, gauze, or foam filters from purifiers, internal heating and air conditioning units, electronics, or pool units” however I’m not sure I can cram one of my 4″ air filters into one of their boxes. If you use 1″ or small intake air filters you may be able to get yours in a TerraCycle box.
Be careful researching reusable and/or washable air filters. The MERV rating on those is usually low. The higher the MERV rating the more unwanted particles are filtered out of the air. I also have yet to see a reusable 4″ air filter and that is what my house uses.