Reprocessed versus Rebottled IBCs. Which Way to Go?
What’s The Difference Between A Reprocessed IBC and a Rebottled One?
Intermediate Bulk Containers (also called “totes”) are fast becoming the “go-to” packaging for bulk liquids. Common sizes are 275 and 330 gallon. A “composite” IBC consists of a high-density polyethylene cube inner container (the “bottle”) inside a tubular steel “cage” that’s permanently attached to a steel pallet. The bottle typically has a 6” diameter filling port on the top and a valve at the bottom for delivering the product. Many IBCs are designed and built for hazardous material service. You can buy IBCs new, reprocessed, or rebottled. The right one for you depends on your product – and your budget. Either way, it’s important to make good choices.
The reprocessing starts with a visual inspection of the cage and the pallet, making any repairs necessary to restore structural integrity. The structure is then cleaned using high pressure detergent solution and steam. All valves, and closures and gaskets are cleaned, tested, and repaired or replaced if necessary.
Bottles from IBCs that previously contained free-running liquids like oils, soaps, chemicals, cleaners or similar products are thoroughly steam and pressure washed with detergent solution to remove residue, then rinsed, tested per UN and DOT requirements, and dried.
Of course, reprocessed IBCs are not cosmetically perfect – the cages or pallets may have small dents or look a bit worn, the bottles may be slightly discolored, and the style might vary a bit from one IBC to another. None of these things affect performance, and if they’re not that important you can save as much as 25% compared to a new IBC.
If the IBC previously contained a thick or slow-moving material such as paint, resin, tar, or adhesive that can’t be properly cleaned, the bottle is removed from the cage, washed and prepared for plastic recycling. A brand-new bottle and valve that have been tested per DOT and UN requirements is installed in the original cage. As far as your product is concerned, it’s as good as a new IBC.
As with reprocessed IBC totes, the cages and pallets of rebottled IBC containers may have imperfections that don’t affect performance, and they are as much as 15% cheaper than a brand new IBC.
What About Used IBCs?
Oh boy. You can buy ‘em in lots of places for next to nothing. Heck, you can probably get ‘em for free if “you’ll just haul them away”. Great for planter boxes. For packaging your product, not so much. You can never really know what you’re getting. Most used IBC containers have not been treated to the multi-step cleaning and reprocessing procedure necessary to safely re-use them. As a result, used IBCs can often contain residue of their previous contents, like oil and other contaminants. You would risk cross-contamination. Why take chances?
It’s Really Important To Get This Right – Choose The Best!
Every one of our reprocessed IBCs comes from a member of the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association. RIPA members must follow a code of conduct regarding safe and effective reprocessing procedures. In addition, our suppliers maintain have an environmental insurance policy and a Responsible Container Management corporate policy.
Here’s something important: our reprocessed IBCs are meticulously cleaned, repaired, tested and inspected to be safe for transporting and storing industrial products, but they’re NOT FOOD SAFE. Food products and water storage require either a new or rebottled IBC to avoid contamination.
BASCO’s Customer Service Representatives have all the knowledge and experience you need to help select the right container for your needs. Call us and see!