Intermediate Bulk Containers [IBCs/Totes]

What’s a tote? Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) or totes are primarily multi-use bulk containers that hold five (275 gallon) or six (330 gallon) drums of material. A majority of the repackaging industry uses are composite or steel (carbon or stainless) types. For the purposes of this short article we are going to focus on composite, “one way” totes. 

MBC receives IBCs from a variety of companies from soap and petroleum repackagers to food, products from the drilling industry, vitamin and supplement manufacturers, and essential oils and scents used for candles, etc.

There are a few choices one has to make concerning pallet type:steel base (most popular), steel and poly base (poly corners), poly base (entirely plastic bottom), and wood base. 

Valve type: Cam Lock (quick on and off with hoses that have the coupling attachment) and NPT (National Pipe Thread screws on). There are three ways the valve works: ball valve, butterfly valve, and cylinder valve. All are effective ways of keeping material in the tote until required. Some valves can be screwed on and off, while others are fused on. 

Size: As mentioned above, a composite comes in two sizes, 275 and 330 gallons (1040 or 1248 liters). 

Before we share some information on the IBCs we have available for purchase, we want to point out that some people buy an “As is” INC – This is a used tote that is generally dirty. While some of the totes we receive have been triple rinsed, most come in with a small amount of material in them. Each ONE INCH “heel” generally means approximately 8-10 gallons of material. While the cages make great storage units, you never really know what you are getting (despite what the label says). Why put yourself in harm’s way by picking up one that has not been cleaned properly? It is important to dispose of waste properly and have your eyes wide open concerning IBCs. We see used dirty totes for sale on local sites such as KSL and Craig’s List. Sadly, they are generally advertised as okay for water storage which could not be further from the truth. ONLY new or rebottled (new bottle and existing cage) can be used for food and water storage [the same goes for 55 gallon drums!] Mark’s Barrel Company has two types of IBCs for sale:reprocessed, and rebottled. 

“REPROCESSED” – Is an IBC that has been inspected inside and out and been through a significant routine maintenance process which includes cleaning, replacement and service of various parts (gaskets, valves, fasteners), and the verification of leaktighness. Bottles and cages are cleaned with high pressure hot water and steam to remove residue left after draining and vacuuming. Cages are repaired as needed. Valves cleaned or replaced. All processes done per UN and DOT  Codes of Operating Practices which are the requirements outlined in the Responsible Packaging Management procedures provided by the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) found at www.reusablepackaging.orgof which MBC has been a member for over two decades. 

It is important to note that reprocessed IBCs are not “new” but “like new”. There are some cosmetic imperfections and some bottles may be slightly discolored or contain a slight odor. However, they are free of residue, and though not sufficient for stringent food consumption concerns, are a popular choice (3.5 million IBCs were reprocessed last year (2.5 million 275 gallons and 1 million 330 gallons) for industry and individuals alike. Total carbon emission savings is nearly 300 million pounds through reuse versus buying new. 

“REBOTTLED” – Is a repaired or remanufactured unit where an existing bottle is replaced by a new bottle and put into an existing cage [versus a totally new unit which has a new cage and a new bottle]. An IBC repair is putting the inner receptacle (bottle) that meets the original specification, and IBC remanufacturing is when we convert one design type to another. These design types are tested and certified yearly. This IBC is perfect for water or food storage, or any application where a sealed, new container is required. 

So, to recap, while all the IBCs are meticulously cleaned, repaired, tested, and inspected per UN and DOT standards to safely transport and store materials, only the REBOTTLED units are safe for food and water consumption. Call MBC for all your IBC needs. As the largest supplier of IBCs in a 500 square mile area, our experience and expertise can help you select the correct product for your needs.

Read More

A Look Back: What I learned in Boston

As we look back on 2013 one story stands out against all the rest – The bombings in Boston. Every 2013 sports story, or coverage of events in the United States, or the world for that matter talk about that fateful day in April last year when two brothers placed a couple of backpacks with home made explosives at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Thanks to the BOSTON POLICE RUNNER’s CLUB (BPRC) I got to be there to race in one of the greatest spectacles in sport. For 20 years the BPRC has fielded a team for the marathon as a way to raise monies for a variety of community outreach programs, including Path4Teens. I was grateful for the opportunity and trained hard with the hopes of running the race of my life. Thank each and every one of you who gave ot the cause. Your contribution was fully tax deductible [501(c)3-75-3240064]

For Boston 2013 I had one goal – to be under 3:40 (three hours and forty minutes) – for my age, 54, that is what I needed to qualify for the marathon in 2014. I felt strong all 26.2 miles, coming in at 3:38, a personal best by 27 minutes! I was thrilled. Then, less than thirty minutes later, it was total chaos.

The marathon is a 118 year tradition, the oldest annual running event and by far the longest running marathon in the world. The city comes out in droves and each of the seven towns we run in from Hopkington to Boston are in full on celebration mode for Patriot’s day.

LIFE lessons are found in all we do and everything is a mirror. After running my share of marathons I began to see some life and business lessons in the experience. Boston 2013 was no different, especially with the impact of the bombings. THREE come to mind.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” – It takes what it takes to prepare and finish a marathon. A lot can happen over the course of a 26 mile race, and unless you have put in the “foot work” it is easy to get knocked off course and end up falling short of your goal.

“Your life is none of your business” – I often run for a cause, such as CHARITYWATER.org or serving the less fortunate in a community (Mazatlan, Mexico and Houston, TX). There are 7 billion of us on planet earth and unless you have learned to fit yourself to be of maximum service to something bigger than yourself, you are missing out.

“Preparedness is not just a word, it is a way of life” – We never know what each day will bring. The Boston Police department (all municipal services) handled the emergency situation professionally. In fact the police chief actually ran the marathon (a 3:34!) and was on the job within the hour of finishing, orchestrating the various municipal services better than Arthur Fiedler could have ever hoped conducting the Boston Pops. MBC has a litany of articles designed to help others get prepared for an unscheduled emergency, be it weather or terror related. “Saving for a rainy day” is not just a cute saying. It is common sense.

Thanks to all my coaches, mentors, and to the marathon itself for teaching me about life and business. It has made me a better husband/father/person/manager/owner.

Read More

SWALLOWED by the Dragon – Part 3

Utah being an established earthquake zone is a given. There are numerous resources one can turn to in order to educate oneself on the subject. THE GREAT UTAH SHAKEOUT provided by www.SHAKEOUT.org listed some excellent scenarios just to name one. Utah.gov has a “Be Ready Utah” site set aside specifically to answer questions and help people get prepared for an imminent disaster.

In talking to locals in the Wasatch Front, most are aware they live in an earthquake zone but bury that knowledge beneath more immediate challenges and pray the future never comes. Will I lose my job? Can I pay my bills next month? Are more important concerns than repeated warnings about terrorism, earthquakes and floods. So what keeps people stuck?

Environmental psychology professor Robert Grifford calls the psychological barrier that prevents people from preparing for disasters such as earthquakes the “dragon of inaction.” He suggests there are 30 dragons of inaction that inhabit people’s minds and these seven keep individuals from getting ready for a natural calamity such as an earthquake:

  • The dragon of uncertainty. It often justifies inaction or postponed action.
  • The dragon of judgmental discounting. A disaster will happen later, or elsewhere, so there’s no need to do anything.
  • The dragon of habit. This beastie is also known as Behavioral Momentum. Many habitual behaviors are resistant to change, or change slowly.
  • The dragon of conflicting goals. This is also known as “I have other more important/immediate things to do.”
  • The dragon of optimism bias. “It won’t happen, at least to me, at least not soon anyway.”
  • The dragon of tokenism. People take the easiest steps to prepare for disaster rather than the most effective.
  • The dragon of conformity. If no one else in your neighborhood is preparing for an earthquake, you likely won’t either.

How does one get woken up from this lethargy? Scared straight is one idea. This approach has worked for some health concerns, such as the anti-smoking campaign. Bringing risk into the here and now, but be careful not to overdo it. Save Armageddon for the movies.

Read More

Swallowed by the Dragon – Part 2

Thank you for the feedback Utah. It appears a vast majority of folks in the Wasatch couldn’t be bothered with the subject of PREPAREDNESS. Even a disaster such as the ones in Haiti, Christ Church, New Zealand, or Sumatra do not send fellow Utahans to local Emergency Essentials outlets to pick up emergency preparedness kits.

At the risk of repeating myself, the “rules” for preparedness over the course of a 72 hour period are quite simple:

  • People should prepare for natural disasters by keeping an emergency kit in their home, car, and workplace.
  • Each person should have enough water, food, and items such as a battery-powered radio, blankets, and extra clothing to be self-sufficient for 72 hours after an emergency.
  • Families should devise a plan covering how members will contact each other if they’re separated when a disaster happens.
  • Families should agree in advance on a meeting place and an out-of-area contact person to whom they can report that they are safe.
  • Take a first aid course, including CPR.
  • Know the safe and dangerous places in your home.

Did you know that Utah averages nearly 500 earthquakes per year (magnitude over 1.5 – 473 last year)? I was stunned, as I had no idea. Perhaps like myself, you may have heard that it has been 1300 years since the Wasatch range had a major earthquake and the chances for one soon are very high. Yet most Utahans do not have earthquake insurance and believe they are financially prepared for one.

This “dragon of inaction” could be a mistake. Scientists believe over 80% of the population would be impacted by a 7.0 earthquake and the Wasatch Front faces a 1-in-7 chance of that being a reality within the next 40 years. What would it look like? Consider a three to nine foot “curb” running right through Salt Lake City and beyond, approximately three thousand people would die, 50,000 would be injured and there would be nearly $35 billion in damages.

Imagine if you will the population of Ogden being displaced and needing public shelter as over 30% of the buildings were damaged beyond repair. Fires could be widespread and emergency personnel would be so overwhelmed it may take days before they could reach some areas of destruction. Power and water could be out for weeks. Oh, and that little gadget that you have in your hand that has become nearly an appendage, communication systems would be out for weeks, if not months, let alone other necessities we come to rely on.

We just passed the tenth anniversary of the 9.3-magnitude quake and tsunami that killed over a quarter of a million people. Scientists claim that what happened in Sumatra in December 2004 will happen in North America beyond any reasonable doubt. How about you, do you believe it could happen in the Wasatch Front? If so, what are you doing to prepare yourself (and your neighbors)?

Read More

Swallowed by the Dragon

ANY one else out there who believes that their token preparation for the Big One is inadequate? This tokenism is what I call the “dragon of inaction” – a psychological barrier that prevents people from preparing for disasters such as earthquakes.

If one were to poll an authority on earthquakes, there is a long held belief that a mega-quake through the Wasatch is immanent. This sleeping monster’s destructive power is reported to be one of the biggest America will have seen to date.

While some businesses, local governments, and locals have made some plans to cope with natural disasters, truth is, most are sitting on their hands. What is this dragon of denial that keeps Utah’s citizens from getting prepared? While the next major disaster may not be the Big One, the likelihood of having to deal with a major disaster in your lifetime is pretty high.

Local corporations have done a good job in educating people about disasters, but most folks in the Wasatch do not even have a basic plan. There a number of websites and readily available social media sites pumping out information, but short of having some bottled water, people are more apathetic than ever.

What thoughts do you have on the subject? Are you prepared? Are corporations doing the best they can to provide you with the information you need? We will discuss your answers and talk more about preparedness in Part 2.

Read More