What To Do With Used IBC Totes? Buying | Selling | Recycling

Posted by ReUsed USA
On December 30, 2022

What To Do With Used IBC Totes


A bulk container called an intermediate bulk container, or IBC, is commonly used for storing liquid or hazardous chemicals. Water can also be stored in these heavy-duty containers. The versatility and transportability of an IBC water tank make it the perfect tool for such a job. These containers are very popular in many food and manufacturing industries. While they can be very useful in production, they are very big and bulky and can be difficult to dispose of

Once you have emptied the contents of your IBC caged totes, you may not have the space to store them. When these totes are empty, customers often ask what to do with them.

A warehouse or plant facility can become cluttered with empty totes. Your warehouse or packing lot may quickly become cluttered with 50-100 used IBC totes.

Listed below are just a few helpful ideas and suggestions for how to remove your used IBC tote.

275 Gallon IBC Tote

275 Gallon IBC Tote

What are Used IBC Tote Worth?

IBC tanks are a very valuable packaging type. New totes can sell for up to $300 in the United States. That being said when it comes to used totes they can be worth anywhere from absolutely nothing to over 100 dollars.

Ultimately, it comes down to the quality of the tote and what was previously inside the container. You will also be able to increase their value if your company rinses the dirty totes out with water after they are used. Below is a list of the most valuable types of used ibcs

  • Water totes
  • Alcohol Totes – IBCs containing rubbing alcohol
  • Distilary Totes – IBC Tanks containing liquors such as Wine, Wiskey, Rum used at distilleries
  • Food Grade IBC Totes – Containers used in the food manufacturing industry. Common products include Yogurt, Sugar, Liquids, or any material used in mass production
  • Rinsed IBCs

These types of bulk containers are typically anywhere from 275 to 330 gallons and can be sold from anywhere from $20-100 per tote.

Dirty Used IBC Totes

Dirty Used IBC Totes



While some IBCs have a retail value, others have no value at all and some companies may even charge you to remove them. Here is a list of common types of ibc totes with no resell value

  • Agriculture IBC totes that contain pesticides or herbicides
  • Hazmat IBC totes
  • Oil Fracking Totes
  • Paint Totes
  • Stained IBC Totes

IBC totes of this type are difficult to refurbish, which is why they do not resell well. Your company would be lucky to get $5-15 dollars pet tote. Although it is not uncommon for local IBC tote Recyclers to offer a free pick up.

Here are some ways to sell your used ibc totes


Using Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to sell IBC totes on the Internet

If you or your company wants to get top dollar for selling your used IBC totes, this is your best bet. You can list your intermediate bulk containers on an online marketplace and wait for buyers to reach out. These buyers will almost always pay more than any tote company because they are buying them direct.

This is a good route if the IBC previously contained a safe material such as something food grade or non toxic. Always be careful when selling to people online because you put yourself at risk to someone using your tote for something they shouldn’t be doing. Let’s say your company sells totes to someone on the internet who uses them to store water and gets sick or worse.Or let’s say someone improperly disposes of the ibc totes, and the EPA finds them on the side of the road with your company’s information on it.

That being said this is still a good option for someone with a few ibcs lying around to make a quick buck. In addition to selling them on Craigslist, you can also post your IBC Totes on sites like eBay and sell them to the public to make extra money. There are also Facebook groups dedicated to buying and selling used IBCs. The number of offers you may receive may surprise you.

There are many uses for them. They are extremely popular among homesteaders and DIY Projects. It is possible to use them as giant lanterns for events or clubs. You can even use them as raised beds or green houses. You may also run into another business trying to save money and buy cheap ibc totes. Again, exercise caution and set expectations. People tend to expect top quality IBCs even when buying used. It is best to send pictures beforehand.

 Additionally, they can be used to collect rainwater for projects that require a lot of water. Water is also stored for emergency purposes by people in dry areas: a tote of drinking water requires an IBC tote that had non haz mat and preferably food grade material in it.

Free IBC Tote Pick-Up Service for Recycling and Removal near you

Finding a local ibc tote recycler is typically the best option for any large manufacturer with an excess of used containers. Recyclers and Recontioners will send in a truck and haul off large amounts of used totes. They are typically registered with the DOT and EPA and you can be assured that your IBC will not just end up on the side of the road somewhere. They are brought back to plant and refurbished into a Reconditioned or Rebottled IBC Tote.

Shop around a bit and find a good recycler that will give you a fair rebate and provide reliable service. Many even offer drop trailers that you can store the bulk IBC tanks in.

Here some of the larger IBC Tote Companies in the United States

ReUsed USA Recycling

ReUsed USA offers free IBC Tote Recycling nationwide

Operating in all 50 state they are able to provide pick ups and removals nationwide. ReUsed USA also offers competitive rebates on used IBCs

Whether you have food grade totes or hazmat totes Reused USA will be able to remove them for no cost. Your used IBC totes will never have to be disposed of or recycled again thanks to them.

Your totes may also be eligible for a buyback program, depending on the condition of your container.

Please feel free to learn more about recycling totes here. A tote pick-up is as easy as filling out an online form, and you will be contacted to arrange it.


A major producer of IBC totes in the United States is Schutz Packaging. These totes are available for a variety of chemicals, conditions, and circumstances.

Some of the common Schutz totes are Ecobulk MX, ECOBULK LX Composite, Ecobulk MX-EX Foodcert Tote, CROSS-BOTTLED IBC RECONTAINER FDA.

All of these totes are multifaceted, and can be used for a myriad of different tasks, but they are specialized for holding and transporting specific types of materials.

They will happily remove any Schutz container from your property


Mauser Packaging is one of the biggest IBC tote companies in the world. They also offer a recycling service to pick up any of the totes that are purchased from them.

As a global manufacturer, reconditioner, and recycler, we provide high-quality, sustainable packaging solutions across the full packaging life cycle.

What to do to prepare for an IBC Tote Pick up

Whenever you are close to emptying your totes, you should think about removing them. In spite of the fact that most of the contents will drain out on their own, it’s important to ensure that your tote is fully empty and ready for disposal. It’s not difficult to remove totes, but it’s important you follow the right steps or your tote removal service may charge you a lot of money.

To empty your tote, follow these steps: 

  • To force all the material to the spout end, raise the tote at an extreme downward angle when it is nearly empty. Before the current tote runs empty, replace it with a new full one.
  • If any colored rinse water remains in the tote after it has been rinsed, drain it into a pail.
  • After the tote has been emptied, rinse out any remaining colorant with a hose.
  • Totes should be recapped, bottoms and tops, and stored until at least eight have been returned.
  • Save space by stacking empty used totes until you’re ready to pick them up.

Guidelines for returning IBC Tanks

Comply with the guidelines below to meet regulatory requirements:

  • In addition to being completely empty, the IBC must be drip-dry (less than one gallon), free of granules, free of any solidified residue (inside and outside) and less than 18 months old.
  • The appropriate hazardous DOT markings must be on label plates and product labels. It is necessary to affix labels to the container and to provide placards for transportation.
  • There must be valves and/or other closures in place. Prior to offering for transportation, all closures must meet the manufacturer’s requirements.
  • It is essential for each IBC to be intact, e.g., the inner bottle must be undamaged, the steel cage must be intact, etc. In addition, the steel cage should not have severe oxidation.
  • There must be a match between the BOL(Bill of Lading) and the number of the ready-to-pick-up container.
  • First-time pick-up may require an SDS or MSDS of the last contained material.
  • For free pickup, you must have at least 10 empty totes.
  • Make sure to confirm pick up location and point of contacts before scheduling a truck.


Contact us with any questions!

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