September 25, 2014

Recycle your Brita Filter

7/28/17:  UPDATE, in the middle of the post.

I had to go to Walmart for this post.  You now know my dedication knows no bounds.

They were even playing Rick Astley.

I got rickrolled by Walmart.

Blissfully immune to Astley.
We use our countertop Brita filter for coffee, pasta, to rinse fruit and veggies, and we go through about three or four filters a year.  Brita says we should be replacing the filter every two months but I suppose those are the same people that want you to change your toddler's diaper more, a few times a day?

Up until today we would throw our spent filters in the trash.  But now, there are options.  You can mail it in to TerraCycle, like you would an empty tube of Tom's toothpaste.  Collecting them somewhere in your house, maybe lining them up on the back porch for a grapefruit bowling tourney.  Or you can do what the residentially-diminished people like myself do, take it to a Preserve drop-off location like this:

This is nice but I realize I live in a large, progressive town.  To see how prevalent the Preserve box might be, I started Googling other zip codes remembered from history class or pop culture:  Lexington and Concord (yes), the Alamo (no), Laguna Beach (surprisingly, no), Westeros (no, but apparently they have a robust Valyrian steel recycling program).

(WHOA!  Turns out, Preserve no long accepts Brita filters.  So Terracycle it is.)

So this is not an option for everyone.

Do not try this at home.
I do have a bit of a bone to pick with Brita.  There's no mention on the packaging about recycling the filters.  It takes motivated hippies with the time to look it up on the internet.

It is a pretty website though, showing you all the things your Brita might be turned into like a park bench or what I'm guessing will eventually be a disposable razor.  I learned not to keep my Brita in front of the kitchen window - apparently that black growth on the pitcher is algae and sunlight just encourages it.  It also says to replace your filter on time, every two months...but....that's not going to happen.

And there's one more thing.  There is something missing in this picture:

And that, is this:

You can't locally recycle the film used to individually protect filters from outside contaminants while it sits on the Walmart truck or your pantry shelf.  You can, however, mail it in to Terracycle.  So maybe we'll be getting out the grapefruit after all.


  1. If you were really zero-waste, you'd just drink the water out of the tap. No fuss, no muss! ;)

    1. That's right. Just hoist the kids up over the kitchen sink. Then I could wash their face and they'd hydrate at the same time.