Can I Recycle a Dirty Air Filter?

Learn the how to manage your air filters when they have expired their use

Recycling air filters is a bit more complicated than simply setting them out with your weekly cardboard pickup. Sure, the frames may be composed of simple cardboard, but the filter itself? Not so much. Depending on the types you buy, your filter may be composed of anything from fiberglass to plastic to wire mesh, or a combination. This makes them inappropriate choices for the recycling bin. Luckily, there are places to recycle air filters for the home, but you may have to do a little research to find them.

Can I Recycle Dirty Filters Another Way?

While your home's air quality benefits from your diligent efforts to change your air filters monthly, you might be piling up used air filters, and feeling guilty about how much you're throwing away. If you're someone who maintains your HVAC unit according to the manufacturer's instructions, you're accumulating anywhere from four to twelve used HVAC air filters per year. You might be wondering if it is possible to recycle air filters in order to promote a sustainable lifestyle. Below are a few ways you can do so.

Ways to recycle air filters:

  1. Contact an HVAC company or supplier. Some will accept used filters for disposal.
  2. Use a mail-in recycling company that sends prepaid mailers to send off used filters for recycling.
  3. Purchase reusable filters as opposed to disposable ones. They'll cost more up front, but last much longer.

Kudos to you for trying to reduce your environmental footprint; hopefully one of these suggestions will work for you. If you'd rather not go through the trouble of recycling your air filter (we get it), learn how to properly dispose of your filter in a safe and efficient manner.