“REDUCE – REUSE – RECYCLE” a Reconditioner’s Mantra

Had to chuckle as I was reading the blog from our friends at Maxi Container,, listening to Rich’s report from the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association fall conference in Orlando. Rich wrote, “Some new drum manufacturers think that by reducing the thickness of the steel or plastic in their drums that they are promoting ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ sustainability.”

The argument from the manufacturer’s was that a thinner drum translated to “less waste” at the time the drum was scrapped. What MBC and Maxi can testify to, is that thinner drums are less durable, tear easier, and go out of service quicker. This means MORE energy is used to transport, scrap, and recycle the raw material to make a new drum.

Many of MBC’s customers are Petrochemical companies and the workhorse of their industry is the closed (tight) head steel 55-gallon drum. During transportation, packaging, and field use, heavy steel drums are often subjected to rough handling, which can jeopardize the material being transported inside the drum. A thicker gauge steel drum benefits the packager in two important ways: more reuse and less damage, which could result in leaks and spills. In the future when ordering, specify a thicker gauge drum if you have a choice.

Every new and “like new” reconditioned drum undergoes a series of tests to insure its quality. At MBC, we understand sustainability is not about cheapening a product.

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Sustainability and Mark’s Drum and Tote Company

Quick – define “sustainability”.  This concept has been gaining momentum in the business world these past 8-10 years and now the US Government is on board. It would seem, as the word itself implies, that sustainability is here to stay.

Here at Mark’s Barrel Company sustainability encompasses two areas: Resources – think people, planet, climate, etc. and Business Acumen – think ethics, corporate governance practices.

MBC is dedicated to protecting the planet and driving sustainable growth. As a company whose primary business is reconditioning containers for reuse, we are dedicated to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy consumption.

For instance, we are building a progressive tote (Intermediate Bulk Container) washer and leak tester that will largely clean and reuse water that is being heated by the very waste found in the containers we are cleaning. This will save tens of thousands of gallons of water per year while reducing the consumption of electricity and natural gas.

Sustainability is not just about protecting the climate, conserving natural resources and improving the human condition. The concept extends to the realm of business ethics and corporate governance.

At MBC we are convinced integrity and mutual respect are essential to creating, growing and sustaining a business. In other words, sustainability is what’s essential to the future of our business, and for MBC, integrity and mutual respect are key.

One does not have to look too far at glaring examples of ethical lapses in the business world. Our mortgage and banking industries, insurance and financial institutions have been “right-sized” or in some cases are bankrupt.

A percentage of the closed head (tight-head) steel drums find their way into scrap yards. A larger percentage is reconditioned for reuse. While we in our industry cannot boast the kinds of numbers the International Aluminum Institute does (73% since 1888!), we can celebrate the kaizan type improvements our industry is making in the steel and plastic industries.

Its been said that, “The fundamental principle of sustainability is as a frame of reference for a triple bottom line: Profit, people and impact on the planet.”  Now, define sustainability.

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MBC is committed to environmental protection.  Our primary purpose is to minimize the impact of waste on the environment.  Instead of discarding containers, we recondition them for reuse as an industrial container.  By taking care of used packaging, we help our customers comply with environmental legislation and meet the objectives stated by the international responsibility care initiative.

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MBC: Working at Advancing Energy Independence

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a set of “good housekeeping” requirements for used oil handlers.  These are detailed in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 279.

EPA’s regulatory definition of used oil is as follows:  “Used oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil or any synthetic oil that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminate by physical or chemical impurities.”  To meet EPA’s definition, a substance must meet three criterion of origin, use, and contaminants.

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