Recycling Q&A: How About Recycling Spray Or Pump Tops?

Recycling Q&A: How About Recycling Spray Or Pump Tops?

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of recycling tips from Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or

Past recycling articles have talked about how to properly dispose of various kinds of plastic and glass containers and bottles. This week’s Recycling Q&A deals with the pump and spray tops that go along with some of those bottles.

Getting Pumped About Spray Tops

Thanks for all the recycling tips. How about recycling spray or pump tops from plastic bottles such as Windex or hand lotion bottles. Can these be added to my recycling bin?

Thank you,

— Don

Nozzles And Pumps And Straws, Oh My!

Hi Don,

Here’s my best advice on spray and pump tops, bottles and cleaners.

Spray or Pump Tops

Spray (and pump-top) bottles are prevalent in most households. The spray nozzles, pumps and straw-shaped attachments are NOT recyclable. Please throw those in the trash.

Or reuse them on other bottles with home-made cleaners! See below.


The bottles ARE recyclable, though, so please rinse and put in the recycling bin!

Reuse The Spray Bottles

Buy in bulk!

You can reuse these bottles by buying the window cleaner, lotion or what-have-you in bulk to refill the spray or pump-top bottle. Co-ops often sell these items in their bulk section.

There are many cleaners that you can buy as a concentrate to which you add water. This saves on packaging and the environmental foot print of shipping, as well, because the packages are lighter and smaller.

Make Your Own Green Cleaners

Personally, I would recommend using homemade cleaners that you can mix up in reused bottles. Check out this great list of alternative household cleaners that a county intern put together for me a few years back. It’s a great resource.

(It’s a long list, but we’ve included it below!)

Thank you for your care!

— Jennifer Jarland, Kane County Recycling program coordinator

Read More Q&A