There are many reasons to want or need to clean an IBC or Tote. It may be that you are a company who uses Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC’s) also known as Totes for transporting raw ingredients, chemicals or liquids.
Top Tips for Safe DIY IBC Cleaning:
- Check any product labels attached
- Ask questions as to the last use of the IBC
- If hazardous, do not take ownership or handle the IBC
- Assume the worst – If no labels are present or there is no available data regarding the last product – refuse the IBC or refer to a commercial cleaning station
Companies who use IBC’s will often require periodic cleaning to ensure no cross contamination of product or the IBC’s are safe for disposal. In some cases the IBC’s will require periodic testing and inspections to ensure they are fit for use. Companies who handle IBC’s will be aware of the legal requirements of IBC fleet management.
There are obvious differences in the clean required for a DIY enthusiast and a company who uses IBC’s. To effectively clean an IBC for reuse, particularly in the IBC fleet hire market, you would require a professional IBC clean which is recorded and traceable.
The DIY enthusiast may find a cold water rinse with the garden hose is all that is necessary. It all depends on the last product and the use for which the IBC is intended.
Why is the last product important?
IBC’s are widely used to carry hazardous products and IBC’s acquired for DIY use are often found in a ‘casual’ way. This creates potential risk of harm to the environment and human life.
Only IBC’s which can be positively identified as non hazardous should be cleaned by individuals. If no labels exist and there is no available data on the last product – you should assume that the last product is hazardous and ensure a professional clean is performed.
It is important that you know what the IBC last contained. Labels may be attached to the IBC, however this may not reflect the product it LAST contained as it may have been used many times since by different people, although these labels will give you some indication as to a product it ONCE contained.
Hazardous product is just that; hazardous, and so care must be taken when an IBC has hazardous labels attached.
The following signs indicate the IBC once carried a hazardous product. If your IBC or Tote has labels which contain these signs, please do not handle or take ownership.
To transport empty dirty IBC’s with a known hazardous product requires an ADR license so you may also be liable for the costs of transport, cleaning and disposal.
IMPORTANT – If no labels exist or there is no available data regarding the last product, you should ensure the IBC is cleaned by a commercial IBC cleaning Station.
So what is a Professional IBC Clean?
A professional IBC clean is performed by skilled operators, who understand hazardous chemicals and have the safety procedures, equipment and infrastructure in place to handle them.
Using high pressure water via omni-directional spinner heads and powerful pump sets, the IBC has every inch of its surface area cleaned with high pressure water. Where the last product is resistant to water, post wash preparation is performed while a chemical can be added to the wash water to assist product breakdown. The chemical and physical clean combined ensures the IBC is cleaned properly.
Along side this, the waste water is processed ready for clean water discharge or contained for lawful disposal. This is important when cleaning hazardous materials. IBC cleaning companies are bound by environmental and company law including Health & Safety Legislation which ensures a safe Cleaning process and environmentally friendly disposal of hazardous wastes.
A professional IBC Cleaning company will issue a Cleaning Document such as the European Cleaning Document (ECD) to evidence your IBC has been cleaned and poses no environmental or hazardous threats – effectively recording the IBC has been cleaned professionally.
Please contact us if you wish to learn more about our commercial IBC cleaning sales, hire and cleaning services we offer.