Frequently Asked Questions – 55 Gallon Barrels


55-gallon barrels, whether made of plastic or metal, serve a multitude of practical purposes across various industries and everyday applications. Plastic barrels are commonly used for storing and transporting liquids such as water, chemicals, and oils due to their lightweight and corrosion-resistant properties. They find applications in agriculture for rainwater collection, in food processing for bulk storage, and in construction for holding construction materials. Metal barrels, on the other hand, are prized for their durability and strength, often utilized in heavy-duty industrial settings for storing hazardous materials, transporting goods, and even repurposed as burn barrels for waste disposal. Both types of barrels are also repurposed creatively in DIY projects, including rain barrels for eco-friendly water conservation or as components in homemade smokers and grills for outdoor cooking enthusiasts. Their versatility makes them indispensable across a range of contexts, from industrial to domestic, showcasing their enduring utility in modern society.


Do used 55 gallon drums have removeable lids?

Some do and some don’t. “Open tops” have lids, yes. “Tight heads” do not have lids that can be removed. Rather, they just have the two bung holes for filling and emptying.

What are the dimensions of a used barrel?

Most 55 gallon drums are 21” in diameter x 36” tall.

What was in the drums and barrels previously?

These 55 gallon barrels are you used to ship a wide variety of products. We sell them as either “food grade” or “non-food grade”. Food grade means they previously contained a food product. NOTE: We do not know for sure what each drum previously contained. We just relay to purchasers what the previous owner said was shipped in the barrels.

Are these used barrels and drums cleaned out?

No. We do not rinse out our drums prior to re-selling. We suggest a few quarters at the local car wash for rinsing out prior contents.

Possible “Repurposes”:

Rain Barrel – Trash Barrel – Compost Barrel – Storage Barrel – Horse Feeder – Flotation Barrel – Horse Racing 

NOTE: While we call these repurposed 55 gallon drums, others may call them reclaimed 55 gallon drums. Funny, we’ve also heard them being called recycled 55 gallon drums. Then there are those who refer to them as scrap 55 gallon drums, seconded 55 gallon drums, junk 55 gallon drums …or maybe even salvaged 55 gallon drums! Remember, whatever “green” or sustainable phrase you want to use regarding 55 gallon drums, we’ve got it.