You can ask the following places if they might have 55-gallon drums they would be willing to give you for free: beverage manufacturers, car washes, Craigslist, hardware stores, industrial waste collection companies, insulation companies, and landfills. If you can’t find free drums — or you would rather have new drums — you can purchase 55-gallon drums from The Cary Company, eBay, Global Industrial, The Home Depot, and Uline.
Drums, barrels, what’s the difference? The difference is only technical. Barrels tend to hold 42 gallons, whereas drums typically hold 55 gallons. When you think of a typical barrel, the image that comes to mind is probably a wooden cylinder that bulges in the middle. A drum, on the other hand, most commonly is made of steel. Many people use the words interchangeably, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to go use “drum” since it’s more true to what we’re talking about.
Where to Get 55-Gallon Drums for Free
Free 55-gallon metal drums and free 55-gallon plastic drums are out there.
Drums have many different uses. Some people use them for rainwater collection or to grow plants in. If you’re looking for free 55-gallon drums, you will likely have to call around and ask several places if they have any they’d be willing to give you. Keep in mind, you’ll probably have to clean them. This can be as easy as using soap and water or can be more serious if the drums previously held chemical or hazardous products. Here’s where to get a 55-gallon drum for free:
- Beverage manufacturers: Beverage-makers often use drums to store product. You can ask breweries, wineries, soft drink companies, juice manufacturers, or any place that makes bottled or canned drinks.
- Car washes: Soap is usually received and kept in drums. The soap used to wash your car isn’t the same as what you’d use to wash your dishes, so it would be important to clean these carefully, especially if you are planning to use them for food-related products.
- Craigslist: Craigslist sells just about everything. You may be able to find a post for free drums, or you can make your own “in search of” listing.
- Hardware stores: Hardware stores may receive products in drums and might be willing to give you the empty ones for free or a small charge.
- Industrial waste collection companies: Waste is often transported in drums. Of course, these would not be ideal to use secondhand for any food-related products or live plants.
- Insulation companies: Companies that perform spray-foam insulation often keep it in drums. Because the insulation leaves a chemical residue, companies sometimes have trouble recycling them and may be willing to give them to you for free or a small charge.
- Landfills: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just remember, you’ll have no idea what these drums were previously used for.
Note: Free drums may have certain defects. It may be a small issue such as the lids not closing tightly, or there could be holes in the drums. Depending on what you’re using the drums for, you may want to purchase new drums instead.
Now you know where to get 55 gallon metal drums free and where to get 55-gallon plastic drums free. But if you’re coming up somewhat dry, read on.
Where to Buy 55-Gallon Drums
If you can’t find any drums for free — or you’d rather have new drums — there are plenty of places to buy them. The price depends on the seller and the material the drums are made of, but you can find drums for as low as $45 — or less on eBay.
1. The Cary Company
- How it works: You have to sign up with your name, address, and email address before you can make a purchase. The Cary Company accepts credit and debit cards.
- Types of drums: The Cary Company has a wide variety of drums, mainly made from steel and plastic. There are different designs, including open head and tight head drums.
- Price range: $45 to $1,000
- Browse 55-gallon drums from The Cary Company
- How it works: You can either buy, place a bid, or make an offer on drum listings on eBay. If you want to place a bid or make an offer, you’ll have to sign up for an account. eBay accepts credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.
- Types of drums: eBay is a huge marketplace, which means you can find just about any type of drum you may be looking for.
- Price range: Varies
- Search eBay listings for 55-gallon drums
3. Global Industrial
- How it works: Global Industrial accepts credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and Amex Express Checkout.
- Types of drums: Global Industrial has a wide variety of drums, including those made from steel, plastic, and Vestil fiber.
- Price range: $60 to $2,000
- Browse 55-gallon drums from Global Industrial
4. The Home Depot
- How it works: Shop online or in-store at your nearest Home Depot. The Home Depot accepts credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.
- Types of drums: The Home Depot has a few different drums available, including plastic and steel drums.
- Price range: $60 to $2,000
- Browse 55-gallon drums from The Home Depot
- How it works: You must create an account with your name, address, and email address before you can make a purchase. Uline accepts credit and debit cards.
- Types of drums: Uline has a variety of drums available, including those made from plastic, steel, and fiber.
- Price range: $60 to $800
- Browse 55-gallon-drums from Uline
There are many places that may be willing to give up 55-gallon barrels for free. The drums may need to be cleaned and/or may have defects, but, depending on your plans for the drums, it might not matter. Places to look for free 55-gallon drums include beverage manufacturers, car washes, Craigslist, hardware stores, industrial waste collection companies, insulation companies, and landfills. If you can’t find free drums — or you just want new ones — you can buy 55-gallon drums online from The Cary Company, eBay, Global Industrial, The Home Depot, and Uline.