Posts Tagged ‘recycling tricky things’

Recycling water filter cartridges in Witney

October 23rd, 2013
Three used water filters on table

It’s the reason why your boiler furs up and your taps look dull – yes, Witney is in a hard-water area. That’s why lots of local people choose to use water filters. So what do you do with the used filter cartridges? If you use the common Brita brand you’re in luck – it’s easy to recycle them in Witney.

Where can I get my used water filter cartridges recycled?

Several Witney stores have collection boxes where you can drop off your used cartridges for recycling:

Argos (Market Square)
Cargo (near the Woolgate car park)
Robert Dyas (Market Square, next to Argos!)

It’s free and you probably won’t have to talk to anyone either – just drop them in the box.

Box for placing used filter cartridges

Recycling box in the Witney branch of Cargo.

What happens to the cartridges after I put them in the box?

According to the BRITA website, the plastic body of the cartridge is pre-cleaned and then ground up into a granulate which goes on to become other plastic things. The filtering material (the dark bit inside) is split into two parts: activated carbon, which is returned to the manufacturer and reactivated for other uses, and ion exchangers, which go through a thorough purification process before being reused to make new water filter cartridges.

Is it actually worth recycling them?

Definitely. The recycling process requires considerably less energy than turning crude oil into new plastic materials. Also, anybody who followed us for Plastic-Free July will know that plastic items don’t just disappear into thin air when you’ve finished with them; they end up in landfill, or, worse, in the oceans.

As for the transport logistics, Brita organises things so that the vehicle delivering new cartridges to a store will carry used cartridges from that store on its way back. In other words, recycling the cartridges doesn’t involve any extra journeys.

Why didn’t I know this before?

For some reason, there’s nothing about recycling filter cartridges on the Oxfordshire County Council Recycling A-Z, or on the Recycle Now website. This blog post was written purely so that this information would be on the web in easy-to-find form for Witney residents. If any of your neighbours ask about water filter cartrige recycling in Witney, please point them to this post!