14 Common Misconceptions About Reconditioned Steel Drums

Reconditioned steel drums are so commonly used that many people are surprised when they find out about just how much regulation goes into each and every one. There are tons of procedures that surround the world’s favorite container, but they’re easy enough to get a hang of. Most revolve around certifications and keeping the steel drum clean, but read on ahead and see if there are any that surprise you. It’s guaranteed that some of these aren’t common knowledge, even among regular users of reconditioned steel drums.

Reconditioned means Repurposing

Actually, this isn’t true even a little bit. Reconditioning means sending in a drum to be swept, steamed, burned, dried, reinforced, and purified of all residues from its last use. It means giving you a fresh drum that can now take on different materials without having to worry about cross contaminating with the previous occupants. Repurposing means recreating the drum into a container with a completely different use.

Reconditioned Steel Drums Have an Expiration Date

They do, technically, but not permanently. Yes, eventually they will have been used so many times that they can’t be used anymore, but all it takes at this point is a trip to the recycling plant to rebuild them fresh as new.

Reconditioned Steel Drums Don’t Need Certification

On the contrary, there are many certifications that a steel drum needs, both general ones and specific ones. UN certification is a must on all, but there are also specific treatments you’ll need on drums carrying special materials.

Reconditioned Steel Drums Need Only One Certification

Like we said above, your steel drum should be UN certified, but if you’re looking to carry any hazardous materials around you’ll need extra certification for that. Not just any reconditioned steel drum will do.

One Size Fits All

Though they are large, they don’t all have to be. You can get drums in a variety of sizes for any project you might have, and one size definitely doesn’t have to fit all.

They’re the Casserole of Containers

By casserole we mean an amalgamate of recycled parts and pieces from other containers mushed together to make second-hand products. In reality, these containers are made to specifications and each one has to pass a series of tests in order to be usable.

Steel Drums are only used for coarse, heavy, or hazardous materials

Steel drums can also be used for other materials, as well. They can store foods, water, and even be used for more than just containing if the need comes to it.

I’ll eventually have to dispose of my steel drum

Again, yes and no. Yes, your steel drum will run out of durability at some point. The wear and tear will get to it, but then you just have to send it through the old repurposing-recycling-reconditioning cycle to have it popped out fresh as new. Eventually you’ll have to dispose of it, but in exchange you’ll get one that was just as good.

Steel Drums are not suited for HAZMAT materials

Indeed they are. Mind you they can’t handle EVERY kind of HAZMAT material out there, but they’ve got a bunch they can boast about conquering. Just make sure you have the right certifications on your drum otherwise you might end up wildly surprised.

Steel drums aren’t closely regulated

In fact, since they are the world’s most popular container they are incredibly well regulated. They go through strict refurbishment processes and pass tons of tests to be certified usable, so if you got your drum from someplace trusty then you can trust that it’s a good one.

Steel drums are immediately reusable

Definitely not. If you are refilling your reconditioned steel drum with the same material over and over then you have nothing to worry about, but if you’re looking to switch then you need to send that bad boy over to a deep cleaner, stat. Steel drums are notorious for storing residue, or “heel”, in their base and the last thing you want is cross contamination.

There is an acceptable heel threshold for reconditioning

When sending in a reconditioned steel drum for more reconditioning, there can be no heel left in the bottom of the container or it will be returned to you. Now if you send it somewhere with a washing plant that’ll do it for you then that’s a different story, but before the drum can get refurbished it needs to be completely cleaned from top to bottom.

Reconditioning facilities will wash your drums

Not all. Many will send back dirty drums, and for good reason. Steel drums are recycled and rebuilt with one another, so you can’t have any contaminants otherwise thousands of drums can go to waste. Clean your drum, then send it in.

A repurposed drum can’t be reconditioned

A repurposed drum is just a drum by another name. Just like it could be in its old life, repurposed steel drums can be reconditioned, recycled, and refurbished over and over again until they’re little more than Swiss cheese.

Reconditioned steel drums are highly regulated and have some pretty strict reconditioning and repurposing rules, and this surprises many people. But they’re easy to wrap your head around so you won’t be beaten around the head with them too badly. Essentially, your steel drum can be used over and over again, but if you want it to be reconditioned then you need to keep it clean.

Great People, Great Products, Great Service