America Recycles Day: How Best To Recycle Your Water Filter
by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated November 15, 2021
Caring for the environment should be a collective responsibility. With American Recycles Day – November 15, 2021 – approaching, it is a good time to discuss viable ways to reduce environmental waste by buying eco-friendly products.
Every household using a water filter to produce clean drinking water must replace these filter cartridges after some time. The frequency of the change depends on the model, water quality, and water usage.
While home water filtration systems harm the environment less than plastic bottles, the used cartridges still constitute part of the landfill. But it is not all doom; recycling can help to mitigate this problem.
Read on to find out how.
What Is The America Recycle Day?
Every November 15, millions of Americans mark Recycles Day, raising awareness on the need to recycle products and buy only recyclable products properly. The America Recycles Day was created in 1997 as an initiative of the National Recycling Coalition. Since its inception, this commemoration has spurred residents of the United States to embrace recycling. It became a program of Keep America Beautiful in 2009.
It protects our environment.
Most raw materials used in the manufacturing industry come from extraction processes, such as mining, quarrying, logging, and more. The extraction, as well as the processing, of these materials, lead to considerable water and air pollution.
However, when we recycle, we can avoid these problems. Manufacturers will only reuse the already-used items to create new ones. This option is energy-saving and limits the amount of greenhouse gas produced. It is a decisive step towards tackling climate change.
It protects the wildlife.
When we are not recycling our plastic waste, it ends up in rivers and seas miles away. Their accumulation in the water bodies leads to pollution of waterways and coastlines. This situation can lead to even bigger problems for humanity.
It is energy-saving.
The manufacturing process involving recycled materials requires less energy than those involving new raw materials. The same trend is observed in other production factors like transport, packaging, etc.
More energy is also saved on activities like extraction, transportation, and processing of raw materials in preparation for industry use if we adopt recycling.
How Can We Reduce Waste?
By avoiding bottled water.
Bottled water is one of the largest contributors to plastic waste. These used plastic bottles end up in landfills and oceans, where they cause clogging and pollution. The Earth Center at the University of Columbia reported that over 33.6 million tons of plastic are used annually in America. However, only 6.5% of this amount is recycled.
By using a recyclable water filter.
Avoiding bottled water will not deprive you of clean water if you adopt recyclable water filters. These filters offer two main benefits: you are not contributing to plastic pollution and getting healthy filtered water.
By using reusable grocery bags.
A grocery bag is one of the requirements of grocery shopping. So, when next you are compiling a list for your grocery run, remember to use the grocery bag you have at home. Keeping these bags at a conspicuous spot in your home can help you remember. To encourage this, several grocery stores now offer a refund of five cents per bag, helping you save both money and our planet.
By dropping the straws.
As convenient as disposable straws can be, they contribute to environmental pollution. Consider drinking your beverages with a cup or directly, rather than with a straw. If you have to use a straw, go for the reusable ones.
By not using paper cups.
Most liquid-holding containers, including paper cups, have plastic linings in them. Therefore, they are not recyclable. There are safer alternatives. For example, you can buy your coffee in a traveling mug. Alternatively, you can use reusable k-cups, reusable coffee filters, and a French press when making your own coffee at home. It is also vital to compost your coffee grounds.
How Do You Dispose of Old Water Filters?
Recycling your water filters correctly is important to prevent environmental pollution. The process differs for each water filter type and brand, and this is why manufacturers are expected to include this information in the product guide.
If your water filter manufacturer doesn’t have a recycling program, do not dispose of your filters indiscriminately. Instead, reach out to your local recycling center to see if they accept cartridges. If they don’t, they can provide you with guidelines for safe disposal.
So, here is what you should do;
- Reach out to your filter manufacturer’s customer support to see if they have a recycling program.
- If they have, request\ recycling instructions and follow the same. The general procedure includes drying the filter for a few days before wrapping it in plastic and shipping it to the specified container. You may get a pre-stamped envelope from your manufacturer for a no-cost mailing.
- If your manufacturer does not have a recycling program, inquire about the plastic-type used in the filter shell. The plastic-type is indicated by a number surrounded by three arrows printed on it.
- With this information, reach out to your local recycler to inquire about the type(s) of plastic they accept.
- Recycle if you can.
Remember, throwing your filters is an option but should only be considered as a last resort.