Here’s a typical question we get:
The new water filter arrived and is safely installed , thank you .
How do I dispose of the old one , does it go in to plastics recycling ?
Best wishes

Good question Susan:

There are 2 main types of filter we’ll cover here: Inline filters – where media is held inside a rigid plastic body and the whole unit needs replacing, like this:


– and ten inch carbon block cartridges that are dropped inside a housing unit.




Recycling Inline Filters: The plastic of the filter body is made from polypropylene which can be recycled  – usually it’s cut up into pellets to make more plastic – the overall energy used is apparently less than making the plastic from new. However it’s uncertain how a recycling plant would / could handle the carbon media inside the filter.

If you want to recycle an inline filter we would suggest you remove the media yourself and then recycle the plastic. But, to be honest, this is quite a strenuous job. These filters are well built and breaking them up would involve a saw and a vice. It’s not that hard but if you introduce the ubiquitous power tool into the equation it’s not the safest option.

Unfortunately sending the filters back for us to do this would we feel waste even further energy.

Or you can get creative and recycle the plastic into things like seed pots / napkin rings / wind chimes – anything that can be made from a thick white plastic tube. (Tip: Heat the plastic to unpeel the label more easily).

You might read that the filter media itself can be re-used by somehow being recharged. At best this works for one or two cycles. And it’s risky. The thing is that all the contaminants you have been removing from the water are trapped and stored in the filter media. One of the main reasons for changing your carbon filter every 6 months is precisely to stop these contaminants – particularly bacteria – starting to leach out from the over-capacitated filter into your drinking water.

It’s far better to play it safe and dispose of the media. It can be recycled by being put to various industrial uses – or you could simply use it for compost.

This brings us to the second type of filter.

Ten inch carbon block cartridges: If you have a standard 10 inch carbon block cartridge simply remove the plastic caps and the “mesh” and throw it on the compost heap or bury it in your garden.

There is actually a third type of filter we should mention ie ten inch type filters that are filled with loose media (this might be granular carbon or an anti-scale or other specific purposed material. In these cases you could simply follow the guidelines of the inline filters.

Reusable Inline Filters

For inline filters: We are considering supplying reusable plastic housings and sending out replacement sachets every 6 months. This should be much more environmentally friendly.

The customer simply unscrews the end-cap, empties and cleans the inside (a 2 minute job), then fills it with the new media. But so far it seems not many people are interested in this because it’s less convenient than simply fitting a new one.If you would like to “vote” for this please let us know! Make a comment below.

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