Disposing of IBC and chemical drums

As farmers, the use of chemical drums is part of everyday life. The days of being able to just dump them into landfill are long gone. CRT encourages the responsible disposal of all chemical containers so that we all have a sustainable industry long into the future.

The drumMUSTER service is a great way to collect and dispose of drums – we just need to make sure we are cleaning them properly to make the process as safe as possible for those handling the drums. Proper rinsing and cleaning are the first steps in safely disposing of empty chemical containers.

Clean containers are essential for meeting Occupational Health and Safety standards in our processes.

Any rinsing should be carried out immediately after emptying the chemical container, as residues are a lot harder to remove when dry.

Under current regulations in most states, containers that haven’t been properly rinsed can be classified as hazardous waste.

Chemical Drums


Inspection of containers at collection points is necessary to ensure that containers can be safely recycled.

  • There must be no chemical residue on the inside or the outside of the container, including the thread and cap. If there is any chemical residue visible when delivering your containers these drums will be rejected.
  • After rinsing your chemical container it should be left to dry with the cap off which will aid in the drying process.
  • The threads of the container opening must be free of residue and although the cap should not be replaced on the container, it may be brought separately to the collection if clean.
  • Your container should have the labels on to provide inspectors with identification of the container being handled.
  • A signed statement by the farmer or chemical user at the point of the collection provides drumMUSTER with evidence that the container has been rinsed.
  • If your container is rejected, the inspector will request that your container is taken home, properly cleaned and returned for recycling in your next delivery.
  • When rinsing the chemical container use the rinsate to make up an application of the same chemical according to the products label recommendations.

Triple rinsing

To achieve a suitable rinse, follow these steps:

  • Empty the contents into the spray tank and allow the container to drain for an extra 30 seconds after the flow reduces to drops
  • Fill the container with clean water between 20 and 25 per cent of its capacity and securely replace the cap
  • Shake, rotate, roll or invert the container vigorously for at least 30 seconds, so that the rinse water reaches all inside surfaces
  • Pour the rinsate (the rinsing water from the previous step) into the spray tank and let it drain for an extra 30 seconds after the flow reduces to drops
  • Repeat until the container has been rinsed three times or free of chemical residue

How do you return bulk (IBC) chemical storage containers?

Many growers may not realise that we can return IBCs for recycling. Schutz Australia has a ticket service where resellers or end-users register their empty Schutz containers for collection and reconditioning. When an IBC is empty and returned by the grower, our stores will contact Schutz to arrange a collection.

All return freight is covered by Schutz. Stores must have a minimum of four IBCs on hand. Schutz will collect from distributors within ten working days of collection booking. Empty containers don’t require rinsing however some conditions apply. Details of the collection conditions are on the ticket located on the label plate of the IBC or the website. To request an IBC collection, contact your local CRT store.

If you have any questions regarding chemical drum disposal or recycling please contact your local CRT store.


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