Reliable sources of plastic buckets

girlndocs(8 WA)March 17, 2006

Tonight I stopped into both our local Baskin-Robbins and the Denny's down the street from it. The lady at Baskin-Robbins said they don't ever have any plastic buckets -- all the ice cream comes in those cardboard buckets you see in the case. The manager at Denny's said they don't throw away plastic food service buckets anymore (hey, at least that's good news, conservation-wise).

But I need some buckets (so I can go collect coffee grounds from the local coffee places, hee hee). Where have you personally found to be a reliable source of the darn things, because I'm obviously barking up the wrong tree here. Places I can find along my main drag in town would be best, because I don't really have time or gas to go searching for contractors or wholesale plants.

Our solid refuse center (read: dump) is a complete no-go, because they crush everything and forbid scavenging.



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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

I bought several at the dollar store....I don't remember what I paid for them but they were not much...I also saved 5 gallon paint buckets from our construction site...washed them out and I use them for garden chores...wonderful for carring weeds to the compost pile etc etc

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 8:36AM
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PICKLES...places that serve pickles will have the 5 gallon buckets. Most of the places give them away but some may ask for a buck for them. Home Depot and Lowe's also sell them but you should be able to find them free or very cheap. Also food markets that have deli departments should have the smaller buckets. Get you phone book out and go through the restaurant section.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 9:21AM
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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

Frankly I'd buy one or two and use them while I look for free ones in my spare time or when I am doing other errands....or at least find something else to use in the meantime.....My own personal time is much more valuable to me in many ways than wasting time searching either using my phone or feet looking for free buckets...If I can find them quickly or run across them accidently, that's one thing but hours on the phone searching or thanks...One other thing you might do, is join the local freecycle group and ask for free buckets on there....lots of the lists are very active...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 12:28PM
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I always save the buckets that ice cream comes in. Now, if you do not have little kiddos around the house like I do, you may not eat that much ice cream. We usually buy it like that, and make shakes on occasion. I have found that those buckets come in pretty handy, especially because they have a lid.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 2:04PM
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throgmorten(Zone 5 IN)

If you have any friends who have cats, you might check with them. I get scoopable cat litter in buckets that hold 35 or 49 pounds of litter. They're pretty heavy duty plastic and come with tops and handles.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 2:39PM
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Try bakeries. Icing, and whipping cream mix both come in large buckets, as well as cream filling (donuts and eclairs). We make cream puff and eclairs during the Parke County (Indiana)Covered Bridge Festival in October, and we always go through minimum a dozen buckets of chocolate icing, a dozen of cream filling and 4 buckets of whipping cream mix in ten days time.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 1:55PM
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girlndocs(8 WA)

Thanks, all.

I have a couple buckets I'm using right now, but one of them is the bucket I usually use to haul water in the garden, and the other is one I use to soak stained clothes in, so I'd rather not have them tied up permanently.

I don't want to go out of my way to find the buckets either. I stop wherever we might be passing, or stopping already (or next door to).

I don't want to buy new ones at the $1 store or Home Despot if I can avoid it. It's not just the cash, it's a conservation issue: I try to keep my purchase of new petrochemical products down to a bare minimum.

Our family can't eat the kind of ice cream that comes in buckets (food sensitivity issue) and we use cat litter that comes in bags ... but AHA! My neighbor has several cats and she might use bucket litter! I'll have to ask.

Since I posted this I asked at a grocery store deli, and they, too, tell me plastic food service buckets are not thrown away anymore. Well, less wastefulness is always a good thing I suppose :)


    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 2:30PM
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mrsgeekboy(z6 SWOH)

Do you have a local Freecycle group? After posting, I received nine five-gallon buckets. Added to the three I got from a co-worker, I am making six self-watering containers to use this summer.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 5:12PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

I plan to do all my gardening this year in double buckets based on the EarthBox principles or upside down planters using single buckets, and I've found the best sources of them are fast-food places, like MacDonald's & Burger King, etc. (But not pizza places or subway shops here.) The buckets have usually held pickles. So far I've collected 24, enough for 12 double buckets, and need several more. They save them for me, put them out back rather than in the dumpster, and I pick them up once a week.

I originally asked (very nicely) if they had 5 gallon buckets that they threw away. Everybody who said yes said they'd put them in back for me, as maybe that's where they'd put them anyway before tossing them in the dumpster.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 7:08PM
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girlndocs(8 WA)

I posted on Freecycle, and got not only an offer of the exact kind of buckets I was looking for, but a tip: apparently Costco throws out stacks of them every day (they contain fillings used by the bakery). The guy also said any place that uses soy sauce is good, because teriyaki joints go through several buckets in a day.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 6:06PM
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gemfire(z9/10 AZ)

Another good place is IHOP (International House of Pancakes)
Restaurants. I've got a lot of 5 gallon bucket w/lids
from the one near us.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 4:30AM
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Here in Tenerife, most of the water is desalinated so people are inclined to drink bottled water. The largest containers that I have come across hold eight litters.
Some I cut so I can lay them on their side and others I cut the tops off so they can stand up.
In them, after filling them with soil-compost, I grow thyme, basil and sage, all so wonderful when fresh.

I have nine such containers rotating with fresh plantings about every four weeks.

When cutting them, I always remember to make drainage holes on the bottom corners or four diagonally opposed holes on the round ones. I also put in a half inch or so layer of gravel or pebbles.
I only have a patio grow on.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 1:59PM
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