Where does an empty drum go to when it's no longer needed? That's a question that should be asked by every company that generates empty drums. Of course some can be reconditioned and reused. However there is a large quantity of used drums that cannot be reused for various reasons. So something has to be done with them. Over the years we've heard of all kinds of scenarios... setting them out next to the street for passers-by to haul away; giving them away to employees; selling them to individuals who propose to fashion them into b-b-q grills, dog houses, watering troughs, etc. But what happens if the drum causes property damage or personal injury? What if the individual who took it home and filled it with used motor oil later discards it on the roadside and the oil leaks out onto the ground? Somebody will be held accountable and usually it's the corporation that emptied the drum.
These used empty drums are history.
The final march up the shredder feed conveyor.

We can take your used empty drums and shred them to pieces. First we make sure that the drums are as empty as possible when we receive them. Next we'll remove what little residual material, if any, is left inside. Then we load the drums onto the shredder feed conveyor and watch them go up and over the end of the conveyor belt into the shredder cutting chamber.




 The shredder is a 200HP low speed, high torque configuration that takes about 4 to 8 seconds to render the drum to scrap metal. The shafts turn at speeds of 60RPM or less. One shaft turns about twice as fast as the other to provide a tearing, as well as a shearing, action. Hooks on the cutter knives act to help pull the drums inward to facillitate shredding. The cutting is accomplished by having the cutting disks spaced alternately on the two shafts so that the cutters co-act to shred and tear the drums to pieces. Once the drum is grabbed it is cut by the scissors effect of the counter rotating cutters.  


 The resulting material drops out of the bottom of the machine onto a discharge conveyor that moves it into a scrap hopper. The size of the scrap pieces of the rendered drums are approximately 1.25" wide and vary from less than 1" long to sometimes over 30" long.



This is a 55 gallon drum being shredded. Bye bye barrel.
This is scrap metal that used to be the drums in the previous pictures.
Drum Acceptance Policy

Every container that we receive must be ‘drip-empty’ per EPA 40 CFR 261.7. Please note that the old '1 inch remaining' rule is no longer applicable. The current criteria is for every drum to be 'drip-empty'.The term ‘drip-empty’ is recognized in the industry as the common definition for a container that is empty to the point that it contains only a small amount of residual matter that would only drip, and not stream or pour out of the container when attempting to completely empty it. Containers that previously contained extremely viscous or solid materials must also be relieved of excess waste by removing (pouring, pumping, scraping, breaking up, etc.) the waste material until the excess is removed. A company representative is required to sign an empty drum certification for all containers that we receive.


 We fully expect some residual matter to exist in used containers. We ask that you please help us to receive only ‘drip-empty’ containers with minimal waste. Not only is this environmentally responsible but it also helps you hold down your material costs and helps us avoid the need to assess fees for handling excessive waste. If you have not already done so, we ask that you please establish a practice that ensures the complete emptying of your used containers. We can provide you with ideas and suggestions for proper drum emptying if you desire.

Example of drum emptying.
One way to get a drum 'drip-empty' is to turn it upside down at approximately a 20 degree angle (for closed-head type drums make sure that the large 2" bung opening is at the lowest point) and hold it there until the residual material no longer pours or streams, but only drips, out of the opening. Then wipe off the residue from the top of the drum and securely reseal it.
Wipe residue from tops of drums.
'Toxic' label.
EPA 40 CFR 261.7(3) states that containers that have previously contained an acutely hazardous product such as those listed in EPA 40 CFR 261.31, 261.32, and 261.33(e), must be triple rinsed using a solvent capable of removing the product or cleaned by another method shown to achieve equivalent removal. They then must be marked indicating such action has been taken, before we can accept them.
Help keep our employees that unload the drum trailers safe by sealing and cleaning tops of drums.
DOT 49 CFR 173.29 states that all openings on the empty container must be closed and secured, and that all markings and labels must be in place as if the container were full of its original contents. Not only is this federally mandated but it also provides a safe working environment for our employees whom unstack, unload, and handle the containers. Container closures must be installed and secure prior to us handling them. Also, please remove excessive residue from the tops of the containers.


 All containers that we receive must be as empty as possible and must be securely sealed with all labeling intact and legible! Excessive residue must be removed from the exterior of the containers. Containers that previuosly contained an acutely hazardous material must be in compliance with EPA 40 CFR 261.7(3)!  



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Drum Service Inc. 1501 E. 37th St. Chattanooga, TN. 37407 423-867-2975 fax 423-867-5920