September 28, 2023
Looking for a 55 gallon drum to use in your DIY project, homestead needs, or container gardening? This guide provides five great sources for finding free barrels. From industrial sites and hardware stores to unconventional sources like community gardens and local artists, this guide helps you get creative with your container finds. Learn tips for safety, maintenance, and transport to make the most of your free barrel scavenger hunt.


Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, homestead needs, and container gardening often require a sturdy and reliable container. A 55 gallon drum is a versatile choice that can be adapted for many purposes. The problem is that they can be expensive to purchase. Fortunately, there are places where you can get them for free. This guide will provide five major places to find free 55 gallon drums, tips on safety, maintenance and installation, and alternative ways to obtain a free drum.

5 Places to Find a Free 55 Gallon Drum for Your DIY Projects

Industrial sites often have a surplus of 55-gallon drums they are willing to give away. Local hardware stores that sell chemicals and other products in bulk may also be a good source.
Manufacturers, particularly those that use hazardous materials, may have an abundance of these drums. Fire departments may also have used drums that they are willing to give away. Many car repair shops receive motor oil and other fluids in 55 gallon drums, which can be recycled into other uses.

Dumpster Diving for Drum Treasures: How to Snag a Free 55 Gallon Drum

Dumpster diving can be a great way to find free 55 gallon drums. Observe all dumpster-diving guidelines and take necessary safety precautions, and look for dumpsters that cater to industries and businesses that use or discard 55 gallon drums. Bring a flashlight, gloves, and other protective gear to avoid injury or contact with hazardous spills.

The Ultimate Guide to Scoring a Free 55 Gallon Drum for Your Homestead Needs

Homesteaders can obtain free 55 gallon drums by inquiring at industrial sites that may have surplus or manufacturing leftovers, agricultural supply stores that use drums to transport feed and other materials, home improvement and hardware stores that may discard items or made mistakes when ordering supplies, and auctions and estate sales.
Community interest groups, such as permaculture or sustainable farming associations, may also be a good source of information on how to obtain 55 gallon drums.

From Craigslist to Your Backyard: How to Get a 55 Gallon Drum for Free

Craigslist is a reliable source when it comes to free 55 gallon drums. Use the search bar to find listings in your area that include the keyword “55 gallon drum.” Be cautious about taking free drums that have contained hazardous materials. Be sure to inspect the drum for any signs of rust, dents, or hole.
Transporting the drum can be a challenge. Use a truck or van if you have one. Alternatively, you can use a hand truck or dolly to move it across short distances. Properly storing and disposing of the drum can help you maintain it for reuse.

Unconventional Ways to Obtain a Free 55 Gallon Drum for Container Gardening and More

Community gardens, food co-ops, environmental non-profits, scrap metal collectors, and local artists and sculptors may all have drums that may be of use to you. These sources are also good places to donate a drum that you no longer require.


55 gallon drums are versatile containers that can be adapted to many purposes in DIY projects, homestead needs, and container gardening. They can be obtained for free through a variety of sources, including industrial sites, hardware stores, manufacturing companies, fire departments, and automotive garages. Other ways to obtain free drums include dumpster diving or seeking them through online platforms like Craigslist. When choosing a drum, be sure to inspect it for any signs of rust, damage, or hazardous materials. By following simple guidelines, a free 55-gallon drum can be a valuable and reliable component of your project, farm, or garden.

Proper maintenance and disposal can ensure the longevity of your drum. If you have any additional tips or experiences, feel free to share them in the comments below.

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