How to Recycle Used IBC Totes

On November 13, 2022

What is an IBC Tote?

IBC totes are an expensive expensive yet useful shipping containers, they are commonly reconditioned and recycled for resuse in the united states. As know as “An intermediate bulk container” they are used to ship or store liquid material. They are designed with a large plastic bottle secured inside a metal cage. The bottle is fitted with a specialized valve that allows the user to access the liquid inside in a way that best suits their operations. IBC totes are common in many industries, and are useful in holding milk, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, solvents and any other liquid or viscous material a company needs to move from one place to the next.


IBCs have a capacity to hold anywhere from 50 gallons up to 550 gallons. The most common types are 275 Gallon and 330 Gallon containers. Because they feature metal and plastic materials, prices can range from $10 – $100 up to hundreds of dollars per container. Their cost and durability offer companies great incentive to reuse these containers, with some IBC totes even manufactured with reuse as the main goal. That being said there are some totes that no company will purchase due to poor condition or haz mat material previously in the IBC.

How to Recycle or Dispose of Used IBC Totes?

used ibc totes

IBC tote containers are easy to reuse. Typically they can be rinsed and refilled multiple times before they outlive their usefulness. The determining factor in whether an IBC tote resuse correlates to whatever material was placed in the bottle initially. For example, the food industry finds much reuse capability with IBC totes. A tote bottle holding milk can be drained, cleaned, tested for leaks, and reused. On the other hand, a manufacturer receiving herbicides and pesticides will find it hard to reuse totes due to toxic contamination . Likewise, corrosive chemicals can degrade the plastic container, making the IBC unusable.

Some manufacturers receive product in IBC totes, but have no use for the empty tote once the material is removed. These companies often sell their used totes to IBC tote recycling container companies, saving them the expense of disposal and being environmentally responsible.

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