Are Furnace Filters Recyclable?
| Scott C
"Can I recycle a furnace filter?"
YES! You can recycle a HVAC air filter... (but it depends)
Before we get to the specifics of how, let’s go over the current state of standard air filters. The most common furnace/AC filters are made of 3-4 components; a non-woven poly pleated media (or sometimes spun fibreglass), held down with an expanded metal mesh, glued with adhesives, and surrounded with a cardboard or plastic frame. These are NOT recyclable. No municipality in North America will accept furnace filters in blue box recycling.
As a result, more than 250-Million single-use residential HVAC air filters wind up in landfills each and every year. The average house will change their filter 3-4 times a year per filter slot and all of this waste clogs earth’s landfills and oceans. In addition to this, they are a pain to throw away! For example, a 20x25” filter can be bigger than your garbage bag and tear right through – a frustrating mess. How often have you seen furnace filters sitting beside the trash bin on collection day because of their size?
Enter Cycle Air Filters, they are recyclable but also permanently usable. Let’s go over the details:
It’s made of 100% recycled materials. Polyester woven from recycled ocean-bound plastic bottles, that is sanitized, broken down and re-engineered into an optimal air filter.
The frame is made from recycled HDPE that comes from bottles (like laundry detergent, shampoo, medicine bottles, etc). This is also fully recyclable, the frame can be broken down and recycled into sheet stock for new fabrication.
The filter itself is permanently washable and reusable – instead of throwing out the filter, you wash it in your household laundry. The dryer adds a new electrostatic charge to attract dust and allergens, and you prevent future filters from entering landfills (and saves you the cost of purchasing a new filter every couple of months!).
These filters have a 5-year warranty and can be reused over and over again, preventing waste and saving cost. But that leads us to the original question... are furnace filters recyclable? Yes, the Cycle Air Filter can be recycled. If for whatever reason you need to dispose of your HVAC filter, you can recycle the filter media (polyester) which can be taken to textile recycling depots (links below) and made into things like carpet underpad for flooring, or broken down into pellets and reformed into custom manufacturing. The frame being made from solid HDPE, it is blue-bin recyclable just like soap and chemical bottles.
So the next time you change your single-use HVAC air filter and wrestle the used filter into the garbage, consider making the sustainable switch to Cycle Air Filters. You’ll never have to throw away an air filter again, and if you ever need to dispose of your filter, it CAN be recycled.
Can I recycle my furnace filter? Yes! Now you can.
- Learn about textile history and recycling from WRW Canada
- Try the Zero Waste Box from Terracycle to recycle polyester fabrics
- Search your local jurisdiction for textile recycling, like Ontario Canada's Ontario Textile Diversion Collective (OTDC)
- If you're in NYC or Philadelphia areas, check out FABSCRAP who will collect textiles and recycle
- Municipality of Durham Ontario recommends recycling unusable scraps at Salvation Army who will collect the scrap fabric (washed) and aggregate to sell to rag buyers who shred them and turn it into car seat stuffing, carpet underpad, insulation