In case you didn’t know, the entire spray bottle should not be put as-is in the recycling carts.
The bottle bottom is okay to drop in the recycling cart. The entire lid/spray mechanism is best tossed in the trash.
There is a metal spring in the pump mechanism enabling it to actually spray. If you leave it as-is and put it in recycling, the plastic/metal mix will contaminate the recycling stream as the product will be classified as plastic, and mixed and melted with the plastics.
If you were to deconstruct the pump parts and separate them out (and sometimes you can’t based on the design):
– You can recycle the metal spring with Scrap Metal at the Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center and
– You can recycle the small plastic bits at Hard Plastic at the Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center.
If you were to put the small metal and plastic pump bits into the blue single-stream recycling cart, those small loose pieces could jam the sorting machinery so please don’t.
If you have an option between a pump and something else, consider purchasing the something else that may be easier to recycle or compost:
– gel vs spray [ex: anti-bacterial hand stuff: recycle the whole gel bottle as-is (pic below)],
– refill vs new (ex: soap or window cleaner: recycle entire refill bottle and lid),
– bar vs pump [ex: hand soap: compost bar remnants and/or paper wrapper (pic below)],
– bulk/tub/tube vs pump (ex: lotion: recycle entire non-pump container and lid), etc.
Don’t forget that lotion tubes are acceptable in the City of Austin blue recycling carts.