How to dispose of storage containers the right way

How to dispose of storage containers the right way

Storage containers are great for keeping all of your important possessions, tools or just about anything else stored securely. They may be very durable and long-lasting but, unfortunately, they won’t last (or be needed) forever.

Chances are that, before it even arrived, your container had already had a pretty tough life. Being loaded on and off the thousands of vessels navigating the ocean’s shipping routes and undertaking countless arduous journeys is tough work. Your container may now be storing your home gym equipment, but at one time it’s likely to have been battered by storms in the South China Sea, drenched in sunlight at a Suez Canal crossing and soaked with sea spray in the north Atlantic – all in a day’s work for one of these big steel boxes.

It’s true that with the right upkeep, your containers will last a long time, but sometimes they get worn out – or you simply don’t need them anymore. So, you own a 20-foot long steel box, it’s served you well for the years that you’ve owned it, but now you need to get rid of it. First of all, don’t just dump it in someone’s garden, there are plenty of far more appropriate ways to do container disposal.

Sell it on

If you’ve bought a container that you’ve managed to keep in good condition, you could consider selling it on by yourself. If you’ve had a container for a while, we’ve no doubt that you’ll have been singing their praises to your friends for a long time – you’ll know at least one person on the lookout for an answer to their own self storage prayers.

Of course, if you’re planning on selling your container, there are two important things to consider. Firstly, is the container in a useable condition? That means no rust (especially on the bottom), no major dents and fully working locks – nobody wants to buy a faulty container that won’t serve its purpose well.

Secondly, you’ll have to work out your own transport for the box. Containers are big and require specialist equipment to safely lift and transport them – so remember to account for this when making a sale.

Scrap it (properly)

If your container is a definitive lost cause, rusting, dented and empty while occupying half of your garden, it’s time for a very final method of container disposal – scrappage. That big hunk of metal is doing absolutely nothing for you, but could actually be worth something in scrap metal value. Of course, we shouldn’t need to tell you that fly tipping is a big no-no. First things first, you’ll need to double check that you’re scrapping the metal correctly when disposing of containers.

Organise for a professional scrappage company to take your container away – they’ll often do it for free, just don’t expect to see any money when it’s taken. Alternatively, you could organise your own transport and sell it directly to a scrap metal dealer. Even with transport costs, the scrap value of a container of 20 feet or longer should still be enough to add a little extra to your wallet.

Whatever the case, just make sure that if you scrap a container, it’s disposed of with care.

Upcycle

This is only a viable option if you have both the space and a container that’s in tip-top condition. When your container’s storage days are over, there’s still a lot that you can do with them. Empty the container and you have a shell perfect for a DIY project. Install the right ventilation, insulation and waterproofing and you’re good to go.

A used container could be a DIY dream come true, so if you’re good with your hands you could be looking at a new garden office, a unique tool shed or even a miniature man cave. No longer needing a container for it’s initial purpose doesn’t mean that you have to scrap it.

Of course, the problem of what to do when your container has served its purpose would be removed entirely if you choose to rent one. If you know you’ll only need the storage offered by a container for a short time, choosing to hire one may be the better option.

 

Here at Unit Hire we specialise in selling and hiring out containers across the UK, if you’re in need of one of the best storage solutions around, contact us today.

12.06.2018
Repairing a container
Logistics

A guide to shipping container repair and care

Self storage containers
Logistics

The benefits of using containers for a self-storage business

container depot from above
Logistics

The Return of Container Depots

Container door
Logistics

Back to basics: How to open and close shipping container doors