Recycled 5 Gallon Plastic Buckets

5-gallon buckets make great pots for flowers.

Recycled 5-gallon plastic buckets are typically fifteen inches tall and twelve inches in diameter. They are excellent for use in the home, garden, and workshop due to their durability and size.

Benefits of Using Recycled 5 Gallon Plastic Buckets

Using recycled 5-gallon plastic buckets benefits both your wallet and the planet.

Financial Benefits

New 5-gallon buckets are available in many stores for between 5 and 20 dollars. The cost of recycled plastic buckets is rarely more than 4 dollars. Substituting plastic buckets for more expensive plant containers, toy and storage bins, or organizers may potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Regardless of your intended use for the buckets, the financial savings is significant.

Environmental Benefits

Restaurants and businesses that receive supplies in large plastic buckets rarely recycle them. They nearly always throw the unwanted buckets into garbage bins, where they find their way to landfills. Earth911 states that recycling just one ton of plastic saves more than 7 cubic yards of landfill space. Moreover, reusing plastic buckets is more efficient than shredding and recycling them.

You can also donate unwanted plastic buckets to nonprofit or youth organizations, such as the Boys Scouts of America.

15 Potential Uses for Recycled Plastic Buckets

Whether you want to help the environment, spare your wallet, or work on a fun project with your family, finding and using recycled 5-gallon plastic buckets is easy.

Recycled plastic buckets are useful for:

  1. Storing tools or gardening supplies in the garage
  2. Organizing toys in a child's room or playroom
  3. Preventing items from rolling around in the back of your car
  4. Holding flowers, storing mulch, or placing compost scraps
  5. Storing unused paint (with lids)
  6. Holding and transporting fishing gear
  7. Storing balls and sports equipment
  8. Carrying and storing cleaning supplies
  9. Catching rainwater (Warning: Small children can fall head first into a 5-gallon bucket of water and drown)
  10. Cutting up and using the plastic pieces for craft projects
  11. Collecting garbage in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or the garage
  12. Keeping bulk pet food dry
  13. Making animal dens or hutches
  14. Mixing concrete or other materials
  15. Covering roses or other plants in winter

Tips and Tricks

  • You can easily remove the handles from plastic buckets or cut them shorter to suit your project or idea.
  • Drilling holes into the bottom of the bucket will provide drainage if you intend to use your buckets to hold plants.
  • Lightly sand and paint your buckets using spray paint specially made for use on plastic. You can also sponge designs on your buckets with craft paint. This is a fun project for children.

Where to Find Free Recycled Plastic Buckets

Large plastic buckets are everywhere. It is very likely you passed one sitting by the curb on your way to work the other day. Locating one is as simple as looking and asking around your community.

  • You may be able to find free food-grade 5-gallon buckets by visiting restaurants. Restaurants purchase certain food items, such as pickles, in bulk 5-gallon containers. Because restaurants cannot reuse the buckets, most are happy to give them away to customers.
  • Check with your local bakery, donut shop or pizza place. These stores often have several empty 5-gallon buckets sitting around.
  • Browse Craigslist or Freecycle for free plastic buckets. Remember to return the favor if you decide to get rid of yours.
  • Watch for discarded buckets on the side of the road next time you head to the gym, grocery store or bank.
  • Visit your local thrift store. A surprising number of people carry items to charities and thrift shops in plastic buckets - and then leave the buckets behind.
Recycled 5 Gallon Plastic Buckets