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Mini-bulk container professionals, so you don't have to be!

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United Nations (UN)-Rated / DOT Recertified

At the time of manufacture, poly drums are certified for containing and transporting specific types of hazardous materials under the authority of the US Department of Transportation (DOT), and the drum includes a label showing important relevant details about the container, as well as the United Nations international symbol.  Within 5 years after manufacture, poly drums must be recertified for each reuse through successful completion of Internal and External Inspection as well as Leakproofness Test, in accordance with 49 CFR 173.28 and 178.604.  To be in compliance, the IBC must pass the inspections and test and be correctly re-labeled by a certified reconditioner in order for hazardous material to be shipped.  After 5 years from the original manufacture year, a poly drum cannot be recertified for transportation of hazardous materials.  The following diagram shows the meanings of the marking sections on the UN label:

Drum Mark Sample.png
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The Recertification Process

Many IBC reconditioning companies short-cut the recertification process, because it takes time, extra care, and a bit more cost to truly do the work correctly.  At Clean Tank Technologies, we have developed and implemented our own custom procedures and equipment so we can recertify drums in full compliance with the law, and yet keep costs reasonable.

Correct Procedure for a DOT Certified Reconditioner

  • Inspect exterior of the poly drum for reduction in integrity

  • Remove poly drum accessories, inspect, and clean

  • Clean inside of poly drum

  • Inspect inside tank for damage or non-removeable residue

  • Conduct leakproofness test on inner tank periodically

  • Dry the poly drum

  • Re-install and/or replace accessories, according to torque specs

  • Clean outside of poly drum

  • Apply correct labeling 

Questions to ask your reconditioned poly drum supplier

7 Great Questions

  1. Do you know the drum prior product?

  2. Do you inspect the outside of the drum?

  3. Do you clean the drum with high pressure?

  4. Do you clean the drum with hot water?

  5. Do you periodically pressurize the drums?

  6. Do you have an M-number?

  7. Do you apply your own R/L to the UN labels?

Answers Should Be

  1. Yes, we know the origin of all our poly drums!

  2. Yes, that's required to recertify it!

  3. Absolutely!

  4. Of course we do!

  5. Yes, that's required to recertify, too!

  6. Of course! Only authorized reconditioners do!

  7. Definitely! With our M-number and test date!

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Simply put, a non-DOT poly drum is a container not intended for tranportation of hazardous material.  The poly drum is not required to be DOT recertified as described above, does not need UN-rated labeling, and can be "out-of-date", which is more than 5 years from the original date of manufacture.  Many times, poly drums can still be used for transportation of non-hazardous materials, even when "out-of-date".


HOWEVER, our procedure is the same for ALL standard reconditioned containers.  We inspect, and periodically leakproofness test the poly drums, regardless of whether or not they are to be UN-rated/DOT recertified.

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