My wife and I are actually starting a mushroom farm and will be in production by next month. We have the same feelings about disposable bags so we decided to look around and found some other mushroom farms are using plastic food grade buckets with holes drilled in the sides. I found a grocery store manager who sells his used bulk buckets on Craigslist. He sold me 80 4-gal buckets with lids for $60 and he said anytime I need more I can just call him. $60 at Home Depot will get you $10 5-gal buckets. Below are what two people suggested for hole placement (we aren't going to use kitchen trash bags though, we will sterilize each bucket after use). The downside to buckets are that you cannot see how far along the mycelium is during spawn running. You have to watch closely for them to just start to pinhead and then take them into the grow/fruiting room. If you want any more advice on starting a mushroom farm please feel free to ask!
Suggestions for hole placement:
For oyster mushroom hanging bags, I put 1/4-1/2" holes. I did 12 holes.
I did 4 evenly spaced holes in a circle at the top, middle, and bottom of the substrate.
So three horizontal circles. Space the center circle so its holes are below the empty spaces between holes in the top circle.
Place the bottom holes similarly below the empty spaces left by the center hole.
I have been using these for oysters for a bit over 5 yrs. 5/8" to 3/4" holes seem to work just fine.
I use white kitchen trash bags to line the buckets and poke a small hole in the bag at each hole in the bucket.
The bags do several things for you. Having just small holes in the bag will help the bucket maintain moisture and drastically reduced the amount of exposed substrate and possibility of contam.
The bag also aids in the stuffing and compacting the straw in the bucket. Before I poke holes in the bag, I like to give the whole surface of the bucket a good wipe down with a bleach solution and allow them to dry.