Recycled Shipping Containers | Upcycling used Shipping Containers

The recycling of used shipping containers is becoming a very popular upcycling process with recycled shipping containers being converted in to new and interesting structures such as offices, homes, bars, coffee shops and art installations.

A shipping container makes an ideal material for use in construction as they have been produced to carry heavy weights and they can be stacked in columns. Upcycling shipping containers in to buildings simplifies the entire process as they are produced to ISO standards in lengths of either 20ft or 40ft and are all the same width of 8ft.

Of course, we do offer a complete service for shipping container conversions so custom lengths of container can be produced to meet your requirements. But, what happens to the parts of shipping containers that are left over when we cut down a larger container? For us, how we work with these recycled shipping containers isn’t an option, its an operational necessity in such a competitive environment.

We take shipping container recycling very seriously and whilst metals can easily be recycled without altering their properties, we keep the amount of metals going for recycling to a minimum to help protect the environment. Many parts we can use for spares and repairs. For example taking a panel we have used to cut out a doorway, and use this to repair a section with a hole on a different container. Alternatively we may take up the floor panel one one container having a bunded floor fitted for chemical storage, to then use this panel to repair a damaged floor panel on a differnt used shipping container. The recycled shipping containers help other containers stay in service for that little bit longer whilst helping keep repair costs down.

Okay, you now ask how does sending the least amount of metal for recycling help protect the environment? Well, if we were to send one builders skip per week to a recycling plant, there would be transport involved getting the metals to the recycling plant and if we did that say 50-times per year that’s a lot of transport that will have an impact on the environment. There is also the costs and energy associated with the re-processing of the steel which isn’t required when we are recycling shipping containers.

So, we aim to reduce the number of times we send a skip to the recycling plant by making the best use of off-cuts from shipping containers.. Alongside this we reduce our dependency on freshly manufactured spare parts, helping reduce the overall need for the number of spares.

For instance, if someone ordered a 30ft container from us, we’d most likely take a 40ft container and cut a 10ft section off to leave us with a 30ft section to fulfil our customer’s order. Now, we are left with a 10ft section and a 30ft section with no rear panel. Now, this is where our use of recycling used shipping containers comes to the fore. We can remove the rear panel from the 10ft section and use this to close off the rear of the 30ft container.

Now we are left with a 10ft ‘sleeve’ that most would consider to be of no use and therefore destined for the recycling plant. However, this sleeve can still be recycled in our depot by fitting a new flat steel end and two flat panel doors to the other end to produce a neat looking 10ft refurbished shipping container that’s been upcycled from a used shipping container.

Now whilst our upcycling processes have helped reduce the amount of metal being sent to the recycling plant, there is still more we can do to reduce the amount of scrap produced.

For instance, where we install a personnel door or a window in a container, there is a piece of the container that would normally be thrown in the skip for recycling. Now, whilst some might roughly cut a hole in the container and ‘cover’ this up, our depots take more care when cutting holes in containers so that we have a neatly cut ‘off-cut’ that we can use to repair a damaged container.

And this is how we minimise the number of skips of metal going for recycling thus helping to reduce our impact on the environment. And, what is sent for recycling helps to preserve natural resources and the recycling process uses far less energy than that required for the production of new products using virgin raw minerals.

On top of the reduction in energy required, recycling shipping containers also emits less carbon dioxide (in the re-processing of the material) and other noxious gases. offer the UK’s largest online range of shipping containers for sale with a nationwide network of storage and conversion yards and crane equipped delivery vehicles.

If you need a shipping container feel free to browse our online range of shipping containers for sale, which also includes our ranges of flat pack sheds, container canopies and more. You can also call us on freephone 0808 1234 215 any time 9am – 7pm weekdays and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, you can use our online shipping container quote form or request a telephone callback. In both cases we aim to get back to you within 1-2 working hours (may take longer for more detailed quotes).

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