If you no longer need your shipping container, you may be wondering what to do with it once you’ve finished using it. Due to the size and weight of these containers, disposal can be a little complex. However, there are a few options for those who have a used shipping container and no longer need it. 

At Shipping Containers Brisbane, we have a few suggestions for how to best say goodbye to your container. Before you consign it to rusting away at a garbage dump, we recommend considering the following. 

Shipping Container Disposal

Built to strict international standards, most containers can easily last beyond a human lifetime. This means that even if you are finished using it or feel it has reached the end of its usefulness, there could still be years of life left in it!

There are quite a few ways in which your container can be creatively disposed of, some of which involve finding another lease of life rather than additional waste in landfill. 

Option 1

The first option is to sell it. There are numerous companies that buy used shipping containers, so this option is often the easiest and quickest. Even if you deem the container no longer useful, they can often be repurposed into a range of things including cafes, office spaces, art galleries and more!

If you decide to sell your used shipping container, you will need to determine the value of the container. This can be done by contacting a company that buys shipping containers or by checking online listings. They will review things such as size, weight, condition and type to determine the price.

Be sure to check they include the collection of the container from your preferred location as part of their purchasing service. 

Option 2

The second option for those with a used shipping container, and one many people are unaware of, is to donate it. Many organisations accept donated shipping containers. 

These organisations usually use the containers for storage spaces or for other purposes. If you decide to donate your used shipping container, you will need to find an organisation that accepts donations. You can search online or ask friends or family if they know of any organisations that accept donations.

Donating may not always cover the collection and transport of the container, so be sure to review the cost of this before agreeing to donate. 

Option 3

The third option for those with a used shipping container is to recycle it. There are many companies that recycle shipping containers and some will still pay you for the cost of the steel or cover the transport costs of getting it to their depot. 

If you decide to recycle your used shipping container, you will need to find a company that accepts old containers for break-down recycling. A quick online search can connect you with companies that facilitate this method of disposal. 

Recycling a container involves the dismantling and breaking down of each of its components. The steel is chopped up and melted down into new steel that can be repurposed elsewhere. This option is actually considered less sustainable than other disposal methods due to the energy and transport involved. 

Option 4 

The fourth and final option for those with a used shipping container is to dispose of it in landfill. While there are many other ways to dispose of a used shipping container as listed above, you may still opt to take it to a landfill. 

Landfills usually charge a fee for disposing of shipping containers. If you decide to dispose of your used shipping container in this way, you will need to find a landfill that accepts shipping containers. When placed in landfill, containers take decades to break down and leach contaminants into the surrounding soil and our waterways. 

For these reasons, among others, we recommend against this option where possible. The negative environmental toll can be avoided through other better methods listed above.

What Is Marine Disposal?

In the past, many containers which had aged out of use were disposed of at sea. Globally, this contribution to ocean pollution has thankfully been largely stopped. Unfortunately, at any given time around 5 to 6 million containers are crossing our oceans and it is estimated that one container falls into the ocean and sinks every hour.

While entirely stopping shipping containers from falling from ships is impossible, those that remain afloat are required to be retrieved by the shipping company in question and properly disposed of. They are also required to retrieve any that wash ashore. 

Can All Container Types Be Disposed Of In The Same Way?

Given the vast number of types of containers available, it is fair to assume the disposal methods may vary.

Some types such as refrigerated, dangerous goods, open top and side-opening can be more challenging to repurpose or re-home than a general purpose container. 

At Shipping Containers Brisbane we have experience in managing the disposal of all types of containers and can guide you through the best method for your container. From 20 feet to 40 feet, high cubes and more, we happily take them all. 

We offer a buy-back service for containers regardless of their condition and are committed to environmentally sustainable disposal wherever possible. 

As leading industry experts, we will also handle the safe collection and transport of your container as needed. 

Our goal is to keep shipping containers out of landfill and find them a new life elsewhere. Given their amazing versatility, this is something we feel is easily achievable. 

Speak With The Experts 

If you have a container for disposal and feel overwhelmed at where to begin with its disposal, we’re here to help. With decades of industry experience, we have handled the lifecycle of containers from construction to disposal hundreds of times over. 

If repurposing your container through modification is something you would rather pursue than disposal, we can also assist with this. As experts in creating amazing spaces using containers, our design and construction teams can walk you through your options as well as handle the conversion for you. 

To learn more and discover how you can quickly and responsibly dispose of your shipping container, speak with our skilled team today on (07) 3185 2170