Whether you buy your chemicals and dip in 15-gallon drums, or 55-gallon drums, dairy farmers across the country deal with the same problem.

Photo by Lorilee Schultz
 

Look familiar? Unfortunately, your inspector likely doesn’t like the stash your saving at the dairy. Here are 15 ways you can use those empty drums, courtesy of the Dairy Girl Network.

1. Christmas Light Storage

Cut the top off and coil up your Christmas lights for tidy storage when they’re not hanging on your house.

2. Trash Can or Trash Bin

Cut the top off the barrel and there you have it. You can get fancy and cut handles in the sides to make it easier to pack around like the photo below.

Photo by Lauren Sizen
 

3. Mineral Feeders

Cut the drum in half across the middle. You can either put salt or mineral in them along the feedbunk for cows, or you can hang them in the calf barn for calves to access.

4. Water Troughs

Cut the drum in half across the middle. Fill side without holes with water for 4-H animals or heifer pens.

Photo by Taylor CM
 

5. Container Garden

Cut the drum in half across the middle. Fill with soil and plant whatever you’d like in them. This tip would be great for sprucing up your barn or farm entrance.

6. Recycling Bins

Cut a hole in the top, leaving the handle intact. Use multiple barrels to sort cans, bottles and other recyclables.

7. Yard Tool Storage

Cut off the tops to use for organized storage of things like rakes, shovels and hoes.

8. Calf Sled

Cut in half lengthwise and tie a strong piece of rope to one end. Use to sled calves from maternity pens to calf raising facilities.

9. Feeders

Cut in half lengthwise and use for feeding grain to 4-H animals.

Photo by Amanda Rottigen
 

10. Boat or Raft

Put the cap back in the empty drum, seal it up and use to float on the lake!

Photo by Gail Carpenter
 

11. Saddle Rack

Mount on wooden legs and use to store saddles.

12. Garden Protectors

Cut off both ends and then cut in half. Pace over tomato, pepper plants or any other plants that need extra insulation in the spring.

Photo by Jennifer Zumbach
 

13. Concrete Forms

Cut of both ends and slice individual circles. Pour concrete in the center to make stepping stones or to set fence posts.

14. Rain Water Catcher

Cut off the top and set outside to catch rain for watering plants.

15. Recycle Them

Many chemical companies will take empty drums back for you if you ask them to. If not, seek a recycling center in your area.