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How to source 5 gallon water bottles?

 
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I want to give bottle beekeeping a try and I think the closest thing we have in the US to what he's doing in the video is 5 gallon water jugs.

I don't want to actually buy water, but to divert a few empties from the waste stream. These bottles are generally reused, but at some point they probably get worn out and recycled, and I'd to access them then. I don't mind paying a few bucks each, but not more than that.

Does anyone know how one might obtain these?
 
pollinator
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I haven't seen that exact type of bottle.

However, 20 litre/5 USG "water cooler" jugs are widely available.

1. Contact a local bottled water company. They probably cycle bottles in and out on a regular basis. They may insist on drilling a couple of small holes for liability and reputation reasons, since their logo is on the bottle.

2. Put up a notice at the local bottle recycling depot. Some of the bottles I see, a bit smaller than 5 USG, come from grocery stores with a 25 cent deposit added. If people know what you're doing, they may sell them to you instead.

3. My method: get to know the guy who runs the recycling facility in a smaller town. People throw the big water bottles in the recycling bin, but most are no longer accepted, so he fishes them out. Instead of throwing them in the dumpster, he sets them aside for me.

Note: I also wrap up a couple of beers on occasion and slip them to him discreetly, in appreciation, to keep the wheels of goodwill rolling smoothly. Women say thanks with cards. Men say thanks with beer.
 
Joshua Frank
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These are all terrific ideas. Thanks. I wouldn't mind the holes because bees need ventilation. I'd have to drill some myself anyway!
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Happy to help. It's a lot of fun turning "trash" into practical and usable items.
 
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I agree with both bottled water company and recycle places.
If you are somewhere where there are the big recycling bins, keep an eye on them, lots of people toss things in there rather than return them.

 
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I'd hit up the local water companies. I scored 100 plastic carboys from the local water company. They were upgrading to a higher-grade recyclable version. we cut 6 inches off the bottom and use them as cloches. In the fall we will use the bottoms to plant seeds and put the tops on for overwinter germination of spring seedlings.
 
Joshua Frank
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That's brilliant about the cloches. How does the overwinter germination work? Even with a mini-greenhouse like that, I would have thought that Oregon was too cold for seedlings to be outside.
 
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Joshua Frank wrote:I want to give bottle beekeeping a try and I think the closest thing we have in the US to what he's doing in the video is 5 gallon water jugs.

I don't want to actually buy water, but to divert a few empties from the waste stream. These bottles are generally reused, but at some point they probably get worn out and recycled, and I'd to access them then. I don't mind paying a few bucks each, but not more than that.

Does anyone know how one might obtain these?



Our food coop puts them out for the taking. They get them with soy sauce (used in their hot foods), etc. Ask at your local food coop what they do with such things, if they get them? Or a local market with bulk that includes liquids?

 
Joshua Frank
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@Jennie Ooh, that's a good idea. Thanks.
 
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