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free buckets?

 
gardener
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Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Does anyone have any ideas where i can find free 5, 6, or 10 gallon buckets?
 
Posts: 61
Location: Maine
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Grocery stores. Ask the bakery every time you go to any grocery stores. Sometimes they have them. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes the clerk has to ask a manager. If you ask every time you go you'll have more than enough in no time.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Thanks for the tip! What size buckets should i expect them to have?
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I get used plastic 10 liter acrylic paint buckets from my local paint shop.
They generally need a good wash, but they have good lids, strong handles and don't degrade in the sun.
 
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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Bakeries, restaurants, institutions of any kind where food is handled in bulk, will be getting ingredients in 5 gallon buckets. Constructions sites also, for things like joint compound and roof tar (this last comes in metal buckets, quite rare and very useful for handling things like hot ashes). Ask around about them or start checking dumpsters and recycling bins.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Thank you for the suggestions.
 
pollinator
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Companies that service and sell fire extinguishers may have them also.
 
pollinator
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Definitely Bakeries, sub/grinder shops, Doughnut shops (almost every liquid ingredient comes in 5 gal buckets, also cleaning supplies) Big Al
 
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Pool cleaning companies. Mobile mechanics that work on heavy equipment. You might be able to find metal ones at the local chainsaw repair shop.
 
gardener
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I have gotten almost all of mine from Asian restaurants. Chinese, Japanese.  Mostly they are giant tubs of soy sauce.  I could always get as many as I wanted.

John S
PDX OR
 
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Location: Southeast corner of Wyoming
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LOL last year we went to a restaurant to ask about buckets and was lead out to the back and told take as many as we wanted...  They were sad we only took 20.   We will go out again this year and see about getting at least that many this time if not more.  They appear slightly smaller then the 5 gallon buckets from Lowes/Home Depot because they are square not round. Oh and they also came with lids if we had wanted them...  

Most places that get things in buckets are more then happy to let you have them for free otherwise they have to pay to hauled them away.  

On the other hand many places like Lowes etc are now selling food safe 5 gallon buckets  and lids (sold separately) but hey free is always better and you are keeping them out of the dump.

Wry grin I was at our local Stop and Go type place yesterday and they had a stack of cardboard boxes that were broken down for disposal.  So I asked what they did with them...  they will stack them either on top of or beside the dumpster for me.  I am rearranging my garden this spring and need it to put down in the paths before I put down my wood chips...  AND just like Starbucks they will save  some coffee grinds for me to toss in the composter or into a mushroom bin.  Hmmm wonder if I should ask about buckets...
 
pollinator
Posts: 248
Location: Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 7b
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I have 5 or 6 I got from Burger KIng. Mmmmm pickles...
 
Martin Bernal
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Any sandwich shop that serves pickles. I had quite a collection of buckets going from the local eriks deli in Morgan hill.

Also machine shops. They get hydrological fluid in 5 Gallon buckets. They may also get there coolant for machines in  metal 55 gallon drums.
 
gardener
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Location: southern Illinois.
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Dumpster diving gets results for me.  It is also amazing how many I have found along the road
 
Posts: 509
Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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I get real uv resistant plant pots from the nursery.  Star nursery in NV, UT, and AZ?, they're a huge chain.  15 gallon size (more like 7-10 gallon) are $1.25 each, last time I got some.  The odd ball really large ones they'll give me for free.

Regular plastic buckets only last about a year in my climate before they break and are brittle, so I avoid them now even if they're free.  The nursery pots last for years.
 
steward & bricolagier
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What works for me to remove pickle smell from buckets is fill it with hot water, add about 1 cup of baking soda, stir well, put the lid on, and leave it in the sun for a week or so. No smell left.
If you do this a lot, be sure to buy baking soda cheap, they sell 12 pound bags at Walmart and other big box stores in the summer for swimming pools. Check places by the pool chemicals.
 
pollinator
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Dorothy Pohorelow wrote:  They appear slightly smaller then the 5 gallon buckets from Lowes/Home Depot because they are square not round. Oh and they also came with lids if we had wanted them.


Those square buckets are awesome for organizing in garages and garden sheds. They sit flat on the shelf and if you need the items, you just grab the whole bucket and take it to your work area. Brilliant!
 
gardener
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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John F Dean wrote:It is also amazing how many I have found along the road



Yeah, this is me.  I think they blow out of pickup truck beds or something.  Before the pandemic when I was going to garage sales every weekend, it was normal for me to find two or three good buckets every weekend, just laying beside the highway.  Now that I don't have anywhere safe to go, that supply has dried up though.  
 
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