IBC storage, transporting and reconditioning

IBC’s or intermediate bulk containers are cube-shaped vessels used to transport and store food products and hazardous materials. They are made from industrial-grade plastic and hold up to 1000 litres of materials.  Intermediate bulk containers are recyclable and easier to store than traditional barrels and cans due to their regular shape.

Intermediate bulk containers are a fairly new innovation and were only patented in 1993 by Oliver J H Hollender, a Belgium inventor. IBC’s are airtight which makes transporting dangerous chemical safer and prevents food from becoming contaminated.  The many benefits of IBC’s results in them being used instead of barrels.

IBC’s are reusable and are effectively cleaned using IBC reconditioning systems which remove all residue left in the containers.  Plastic IBC’s are cheaper to purchase than metal barrels making them extremely cost-effective. Intermediate bulk containers Load easily on to trucks and can be transported around the warehouse on pallets.

IBC’s And Transport Regulations

It is important to adhere to the strict regulations relating to IBC’s and the transportation of hazardous waste.  The Department of Transport has laid out very clear guidelines regarding using Intermediate bulk containers to transport chemicals and hazardous waste. Natural Resources Wales has also produced a very comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure IBC’s are stored and transported correctly.

Storing IBC’s And Hazardous Waste

Storing hazardous materials requires a great deal of planning and organisation to avoid spillage and leaks. The following guidelines from Natural Resources Wales ar not yet regulated but still provide sound advice for storing hazardous and chemical waste.  Here are some of their suggestions:-

  • Label materials clearly.
  • Keep an up to date inventory.
  • Make sure the IBC’s are fit to do their job.
  • Take precautions regarding the storage of hazardous substances.
  • Separate different substances to prevent them from mixing.
  • Store in neutral conditions avoiding extreme heat or cold.
  • Store away from drainage systems groundwater, surface water and vehicle routes.

An up to date inventory should include:

  • Product types.
  • Trade names.
  • UN numbers.
  • COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Data).
  • Volumes.
  • Location on-site or within the store.

IBC’s Reconditioning Systems

IBC’s can be used a number of times as long as they have been thoroughly cleaned and dried.  This is achieved with the use of IBC’s reconditioning systems. These are systems that are specifically designed to clean IBC’s.  There are two parts to the IBC reconditioning system the first is an automatic drying system and the second an automatic washing system. 

Automatic Washing and Drying Systems

The automatic washing systems washes and drains the inside of IBC’s.  It is a modular system which involves the IBC’s being transported to each station using pneumatics. The clean IBC’s move on to the drying station where they are thoroughly dried and prepared for reuse. 

Companies who use a large number of IBC’s may invest in an IBC reconditing system to make recycling their containers more cost-effective.  They may also offer a reconditioning service for smaller companies which will bring in more revenue.

If you would like to find out more about our IBC’s reconditioning system contact us and we would be happy to discuss it with you.