For every Aquagear filter you purchase, the Aquagear Foundation provides six months of clean water to people in need by installing water filters in developing communities. Did you know that for every Aquagear filter you recycle, we will double that donation?
Through The Aquagear Recycling Program, we are ensuring that the entire lifecycle of our product - from production of our pitchers to disposal of our filters - is supporting human health and wellness today while generating clean energy and protecting our planet for tomorrow.
Here’s everything you need to know about how the Aquagear Recycling Program works and how you can join us in our mission to protect our environment while working to end water poverty within our lifetime.
How the Aquagear Recycling Program Works
The Aquagear Recycling Program is a consumer mailback program designed to make recycling your Aquagear filters effective and easy.
While our Aquagear filter is 100 percent recyclable and we’d love for our products to be easily recycled through your municipality’s program, data shows that, unfortunately, most US recycling ends up in landfills1. When you participate in our consumer mailback program, we are able to take responsibility to ensure that your Aquagear filter is brought directly to an Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facility. These state-of-the-art facilities provide a safe means of waste disposal that reduces greenhouse gases, generates clean energy and recycles metal. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for every ton of municipal solid waste processed at Energy-from-Waste facilities, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by approximately one ton2.
To participate, you simply email us for a postage-paid return label. Once you receive it, you toss your water filter in and we take care of the rest.
What Happens to an Aquagear Filter After You Mail It To Us
Since our inception in 2014, we have always considered ensuring our products are contributing to a better world our top priority. As such, we see it as our responsibility to practice good product stewardship, which includes ensuring our products are recycled efficiently.
Here’s what happens once you put your Aquagear filter in your postage-paid envelope:
- First, the envelope is collected by trucks that bring our filters to an Energy-from-Waste facility, where they are unloaded. Our facilities ensure no waste is ever wasted. They make sure emissions are well below limits to protect human health and the environment, neutralize acid gases, and ensure the process they use generates clean energy for our communities and the world we live in.
- Once they arrive, they enter a combustion chamber that is maintained under negative air pressure to contain dust and odors. Waste is combusted at extremely high temperatures through a self-sustaining process that takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete.
- As waste is burned, the heat converts water in a steel tube above it into steam. The steam rises through boiler tubes and turns a turbine generator, which produces electricity that is exported to local utilities for use in homes and businesses. Each ton of waste can generate 550-700 kilowatts of electricity.
- Steam from the process is then turned into water and returned to boiler tubes, making it an efficient and closed-loop system. Volume of waste is reduced by 90 percent, and collected metals are made into new products.
The benefits of recycling through an Energy-from-Waste facility
Utilizing this technologically advanced process results in a myriad of benefits, including:
- Sustainable waste management: This process disposes waste, controls emissions, and recovers energy in only one hour, compared to landfill emissions that take more than 100 years to degrade.
- Energy generation: Energy generated from one ton of waste at an EfW facility can power an average home for almost two weeks. Landfill energy plants can only produce enough energy to power an average home for two days.
- Greenhouse gas diversion: Our facilities avoid 20 million tons of greenhouse gases per year, while landfills are a leading source of Methane gas.
- Air emission control and regulation: Our facilities are 60-90 percent better than permitted limits and are highly regulated, while landfills are minimally regulated and release many pollutants.
- Recovering metals for recycling: Our facilities recover 50 pounds of metal per ton of waste, while landfills bury metals that never disintegrate.
- Transportation distance and community impact: Waste travels only a few miles between our facilities and the communities the energy powers, avoiding the hundreds of miles waste often travels before reaching a landfill, where it sits forever.
How You Can Participate
Here’s how to recycle your Aquagear filter sustainably - and provide six additional months of clean water to a family in need - in three easy steps:
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a postage-paid return label.
- Once you receive it, mail us your Aquagear filter.
- When we receive your filter, we will ensure it is properly recycled and double our donation to the Aquagear Foundation on your behalf.
- Is This the End of Recycling? (2019, March 5). Retrieved from The Atlantic.
- Energy from Waste Can Help Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions. (2013, April). Retrieved from Center for American Progress.