Filters are NOT recyclable in the recycling bin. Please keep them out.
If they get in, they contaminate everything else and have to be manually pulled out by hand, which takes a lot of time, exposes people to the collected dust, filth, and particles and slows the process way down!
What to do with Filters:
Most disposable filters are made out of woven fibers including paper, polyester and fiberglass. Fiberglass is NOT recyclable, and when woven together with other materials it makes them non-recyclable as well. Regardless of their recylability, handling dirty filters, even to help the environment, is a bad idea. They are full of particles that we all want to get rid of in the first place!
Proper disposal of old filters is important to prevent the collected irritants, allergens and other particles from becoming airborne again. Professionals recommend changing air filters at least every 3 months, so if following their advice, you’re dealing with dirty filters several times a year.
An old filter usually has at least 90 days of trapped material in it, so be careful when handling it! The safest route is to carefully place it in the trash, cardboard frame intact.
- Carefully remove the old filter from your appliance.
- Place the filter in a plastic bag and tie or tape it shut to trap the contained particles.
- Immediately place it in your outside trash can.
If you don’t want to contribute to the growing landfill, there is a more sustainable alternative: Reusable filters.
Reusable air filters may even perform slightly better than the cheap disposable filters. Bad part is they are about ten times as expensive and you have to wash them between uses. In the long run though, they could save money by lasting for years, AND, of course, you’re saving the dozens of nonrecyclable filters that would have ended up in the landfill.
If you don’t mind washing them and are able to avoid exposure, reusable filters are your best bet to reduce your footprint. Note: Reusable filters need to be completely dry before they go back into your system to avoid mold or bacteria growth.
Air filters, car filters, vacuum filters, paper filters, furnace filters, oil filters, coffee filters, pool filters, water filters, appliance filters, fridge filters, refrigerator filters, dryer filters, fuel filters, HVAC filters, duct filters are not recyclable.