To understand how to dispose of water softener resin beads, it would be beneficial for you to understand how and what its made of.
I have reached out to the company Lanlang, which is one of the market leaders in the water softening industry to ask about how their resin is made.
I got a response saying that resin in Lanlang softeners is a polystyrene-based. However, my research showed that most manufacturers are using the same substance.
Polystyrene is made of three elements. The main component is styrene, which is extracted from petroleum or natural gas. Styrene then reacts with ethylene and benzene, and the reaction of these three elements form polypropylene.
Now, polypropylene needs to be transformed into the ion-exchange resin. This is done via a process called polymerization.
Softeners usually have two tanks, one with polystyrene resin and brine tank with salt.
The resin contains thousands of beads, and as water passes through the resin, it pulls calcium and magnesium ions from water and replaces them with sodium ions. The tank regenerates the water softener resin beads using sodium ions, once all have been used, and this is how a softener works.
I know that there is a lot of confusing terms, so if it doesn’t make sense to you, just let me know in the comment section below, and I will clarify.
It is evident that there is a lot of chemical processing involved, but regardless of this, the resin should comply with food safety standards.