Bungs are usually 55-gallon metal drums (compared to the 42-gallon standard crude oil barrel) — a widely used container for storing and transporting different fluids.  The bung stopper is plugged into the opening of a tank or barrel. It prevents the flow of the contents.

A bung’s adapter needs to be made of a rigid material that can withstand the internal pressure from the weight and movement of the refined product in the tank, while the fluid is accommodated through the bunghole.

A bung needs to provide a sealed closure.

bungs are metal drumsBungs are functional in various industries, from sauces used in food processing to industrial chemicals. Since they are such a standard option for waste containment, they can also be reused and recycled faithfully. The use of bungs lowers manufacturing costs and is an eco-friendly option.

Establishing whether they are appropriate for recycling is the first step in disposing of these drums. Take the following measures in further handling these bungs:

  • What Did it Contain? — Initially, you’ll need to find out what the bung was carrying until it was empty. Steel drums containing non-hazardous materials, such as apple juice or washable liquids, are safe to be repurposed for other applications. However, if the drum has already bottled up toxic materials, it needs to be thoroughly washed.
  • Is it Clean? — After you have decided whether the drum is safe to reuse, the drums should be cleansed. Administer the triple rinse washing technique and confirm if it is for a different application.
  • Was it Double-Checked? — After the drum has been cleaned, you need to check for any potential damage. Look at the external surfaces for any noticeable dents, cracks, rust spots, or leaks that could impair their intended use. If there is significant disfigurement to the bung, you cannot store liquids in it any longer. However, you will still be able to use it to keep things that do not need airtight seals, such as compost, rags, or rocks.

If the bung has gained irreparable damages or you no longer need it, you need to properly dispose of it. Many local plastic recycling centers and environmental services departments can accept drums. They need to be safe and have not historically been used to carry dangerous materials. If it includes hazardous materials at one point, you may need to contact a local hazardous waste department. There is potentially a 55-gallon drum recycling plant near you.