Can I recycle … Brita and Pur water filters?


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Brita, Pur and other filters for water pitchers and faucets are not recyclable in L.A.’s blue bin because the filters are made from mixed materials. The usual configuration is a polypropylene plastic shell housing a carbon micro filter (that reduces the taste and odor of chlorine) as well as ion exchange resin (that reduces the lead, mercury, copper, cadmium and zinc that may be found in tap water).

Pur does not have a take-back program, but Brita has a partnership with the eco-product company Preserve to recycle its water pitcher filters. Preserve recommends that the filters be dried by shaking off the excess water and setting them in a dry location for a minimum of three days, then wrapping the filters in a plastic grocery bag, placing the bag in a box and mailing the filters to the company in New York. It also recommends that several filters be shipped at once.


The plastic shells of the filters are recycled into Preserve products, including toothbrushes, cups and cutting boards. The activated carbon filter and ion exchange resin inside the filters’ plastic shells are converted into energy. The shipping boxes and plastic grocery bags also are recycled.

Because policies and recommendations can vary from city to city, each week we ask a sampling of officials from various municipalities to weigh in. Can I recycle water filters in …

Arcadia: No
Burbank: No
Irvine: No
Long Beach: No
Riverside: No
Santa Ana: No
Santa Monica: No
Torrance: No

-- Susan Carpenter

Each week we explain the recycling potential for an item that might be confusing. Here are some previous Can I Recycle topics:

Store receipts?

Milk cartons?

Pizza boxes?


Post-it Notes?


Bottle caps?

Wine corks?

Ziploc bags