Austin Resource Recovery confirmed lotion tubes CAN be recycled, in addition to lotion bottles, in the City of Austin blue recycling carts. Please try to make sure all or as much as possible of the product is squeezed out.
There are metal springs in the pump, so please trash that part of the lotion bottle. This is assuming you’re not going to smash it apart to separate the materials into plastic and metal.
If you are not in the City of Austin, please check with your city or provider. Not all companies are able to process tubes.
Austin Resource Recovery confirmed toothpaste tubes CANNOT be recycled in the City of Austin blue recycling carts or at the Drop-off Center.
This article from Earth 911, Recycling Mystery: Toothbrushes & Toothpaste Tubes, explains more. There are also some good zero waste tips in here like using a recyclable toothbrush, a toothbrush handle with replaceable heads to “throw away” a smaller portion of material, or trying a tube-free tooth powder. A search for DIY zero waste tooth paste or powder recipes online brings up lots of options.
While your toothpaste tubes cannot be recycled with the City of Austin, you may want to sign up for a TerraCycle oral care recycling program; however you may end up on a waitlist. I am on waitlists for both the Colgate® Oral Care Recycling Program and the Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program. I use Tom’s toothpaste and Bite Toothpaste Bits (post forthcoming) and was trying to get an active TerraCycle oral care program, but I am waiting on both.
Don’t forget that if you use Preserve toothbrushes, those can be recycled at a participating Whole Food Market. See my post, RETHINK: Toothbrushes, for more information and stores where you can buy Preserve toothbrushes.