As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Refrigerators with water dispensers are incredibly useful devices to have, and can feel like a bit of a luxury. Using a water filter encourages users to drink filtered tap water, helping free up landfill space by avoiding the use of plastic water bottles. Of course, clean water dispensers do require filters, with your refrigerator being no exception. But how do you dispose of these used refrigerator water filters when you need to replace it? Can the entire filter be thrown right in the recycling bin? We’re going to take a look at how to correctly dispose of used fridge water filters, so you can make sure you’re doing your part for the environment next time you need to replace yours.

Do Not Take the Filter Apart Yourself

Although water filters are used to filter out harmful chemicals and impurities from your drinking water, the filters themselves actually pose a danger to yourself and your family after they have been used for a long period of time. This is why taking apart your water filter in order to recycle the pieces should be done by a professional, and not as the result of watching a tutorial. explains why you should not attempt to execute this task yourself:

“You may also find online instructional videos and tutorials showing you how to take the cartridge apart so that you can recycle its various components yourself. This can be incredibly dangerous, as you risk exposing your family and your home to the dangerous contaminants that have built up in your filter over the past few months.”

Recycling the Filter Through the Brand

Certain water filter brands and manufacturers offer a service to recycle the filter through their own facility. This is often done by sending the filter back to them through the mail or via a drop-off location. This is ideal both for the customer and for the brand. Not only does it promote the brand as being environmentally conscious, but they may be able to recycle certain pieces of the water filter to reuse themselves.

Dan Ketchum of SFGate tells us what the ideal first solution would be when disposing of used fridge water filters:

“Find your refrigerator manufacturer’s contact information in your user manual or at the manufacturer’s website. Contact the company’s customer service department and ask them about any available recycling programs for refrigerator water filters. Have your refrigerator’s model number handy to expedite the process. In some cases, the manufacturer will accept filters for recycling via mail or recommend a drop-off location for a recycling program. If the manufacturer does not have a recycling program, ask them what sort of plastic — #1, #2, #3, #4 or #5 — the filter shell is made out of.”

Recycle Through Your Local Recycling Facility 

Asking your local recycling facility is always a great option if you’re unsure how to correctly dispose of any item. Your local recycling facility should be able to direct you on exactly what to do with your used refrigerator water filter, and if not, direct you to the correct resources who can. recommends simply asking your local recycling facility if they accept water filters before you simply throw it in your recycling bin:


We offer a wide variety of waste disposal options, including the disposal of used refrigerator water filters, with services readily available online. Reach out to us to see what we can offer you.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates.