Today, we went out and about looking to find price updates, primarily, on 50 / 55 gallon blue plastic barrels. When looking for these, one must exercise extreme caution.
Some of the barrels you may come across, will have contained hazardous materials in them. This could be anything from acids, to resin colorants. Take note that these barrels will rarely still have the Haz-Mat labels on them. So, it may be a bit difficult to determine which ones contained chemicals, and which ones contained human consumption / safe products.
One Haz-Mat chemical commonly found in these barrels, was "Reactint Black X77". I'm not going to research it. But, I know I do NOT want to use barrels that this was shipped in. When you open the bung on the barrel, you will find this chemical to look almost like the black ink in a writing pen.
Fortunately, I was able to find some barrels that were only used to ship dish washing liquid soap. I figure, after a good washing or two, they should be fine to house fish, plants, etc.
It gets better.
Previously, the lowest price Chan had received while pricing these barrels a couple of years ago, was $25 USD. At that time, the prices were non-negotiable. Now, however, they are not only negotiable, but some negotiated lower prices themselves!
The first place wanted $24.50, non-negotiable. (So, we were thinking prices had not changed on them, much.) He only had the chemical barrels though. Made it a point to tell Chan we would not find any cheaper, or any other types of barrels. (Right. Gotcha!) So, that was our clue to head off to the next supplier.
About the second or third place we stopped, the man told us $21.25 for the soap barrels. However, when asked how many we would probably want (I told them six to start and asked if they would go to $20), they dropped the price to $19.50 per barrel. So, $117 USD will fetch us six barrels, a capacities of 208 liters (55 gallons) each.
Ironically, although a bit smaller, 50 gallons, the barrels with the black lids on them are sold for a whopping $31.50 each!! I'm glad I am not in the market for them. Well, they would make for pretty good swirl or solids filter barrels.
The containers, jugs? bottles? are sold at just under $1.00 USD each. (I believe the actual cost was 3,800r, each.) Might be an idea for later, if thinking about expanding and trying a different grow system.