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Jun 142011

From Green Right Now Reports

General Electric has unveiled a program that – finally – makes it relatively simple to recycle your refrigerator water filter.

GE will recycle water filters for consumers who mail them back.

This is news we’ve been waiting for since we went to Lowe’s a couple years ago and tried to recycle our filter canister only to have the appliance department salesman give us a withering look while pointing, pointedly, at the garbage can.

Not that this was Lowe’s fault, or the sales guy’s. There was simply no mechanism in place back then to recycle or reuse water filters. The solution, as it has been with so many American products, was to trash it. And it was painful to watch all that hard plastic head to the landfill; even worse, the charcoal filter inside which was (if it had worked correctly) teeming with microorganisms and chemicals that had been filtered out of the tap water.

There were a few services at the time that were offering a different sort of filter, but on boarding to these programs was, if not complex, inconvenient. And the reusable filters didn’t always work with your fridge.

GE’s new filter solves these issues. It will help consumers recycle their water filters without having to “spend an extra dime, or haul anything to a recycling center,” according to the news release.

That’s the kind of recycling everyone should be able to get behind.

Here’s how it will work:

When your GE fridge water filter has expired after six months or so, you will order a replacement filter from GE. The company will send with your replacement a recycling bag with instructions and a pre-paid return mailing label. Drop in the outgoing filter and mail it back to GE’s processing center.

At the recycling plant, all the plastic in the canister will be recycled after being “pelletized” and the charcoal filter will be reused in landfills as material to stop leaching chemicals.

The Applicable filters include models MWF, MSWF, MXRC and GSWF.

GE is the first refrigerator maker to offer such a program, which is part of several other initiatives to reduce its environmental impact.