How do I break down and dispose of empty material totes?

Smooth-On's innovative bag-in-a-box tote configuration offers several processing advantages, including saving time, labor and disposal costs (compared to conventional totes) when the tote is empty. After finishing a tote unit, breakdown and disposal of the empty tote will take only a few minutes.

Step 1: Positioning Empty Tote

Although the contents of the tote unit have been dispensed by the EZ~Mix meter mix machine, it is important to remember that there is often some residual material left inside the inner foil bag. To make breakdown easier, position the empty tote on a pallet.

To prevent spillage of any material remaining in the inner foil bag, elevate both sides of the front of the tote using two 4 x 6 blocks of wood (or similar) – one on each side. The goal is to move the residual material back and away from the valve.

Step 2: Removing Tote Valve and Lid

After the front end of the tote has been elevated, and the residual material has flowed away from the valve, the valve assembly can be removed from the unit. The cardboard lid can also be removed in this step.

Use a pipe wrench to carefully loosen the 2" PVC ball valve. Once loosened, the valve can be removed by hand. NOTE: If material begins to leak out of the valve, tilt the tote back until leaking stops. Increase elevation of tote by adding height to the corner blocks.

Step 3: Removing the Inner Foil Bag

With the valve disassembled and the cardboard lid removed, the inner foil bag can be carefully lifted out of the tote unit. Not only is it necessary to remove the foil bag for proper disposal, but it also makes salvaging residual material left inside the foil bag easier.

Step 4: Recovering Residual Material and Inner Foil Bag Disposal

There will always be a small amount of material that can be recovered from each tote and used on a smaller project. To fully empty foil bag, first reattach the 2" PVC ball valve. Using the tote unit's cardboard shell for support, elevate the back end of the foil bag and position the closed valve over a clean 5-gallon pail. The valve can then be opened, allowing the residual material to flow out. Squeezing the foil from the back end toward the valve ensures that all material is dispensed. Once empty, immediately secure a lid on the bucket to preserve the material. Applying XTEND-IT™ dry gas blanket will maximize the shelf life of remaining material. Remove the ball valve and save for future use. The empty foil bag can now be disposed of.

Step 5: Breaking Down the Empty Cardboard Tote for Recycling

The final step in tote disposal is to breakdown the unit's empty cardboard shell. This is accomplished in a few simple steps. First, remove the shell's inner support structure. Turn the cardboard shell on its side, providing access to the bottom of the unit. Push in on the split bottom while pulling opposite corners to collapse and flatten the cardboard shell. Once flattened, the cardboard shell can be recycled. The pallet can be stored and reused.

This FAQ article is offered as a guideline and offers possible solutions to problems encountered during mold making and casting. No warranty is implied and it is up to the end user to determine suitability for any specific application. Always refer to the provided Technical Bulletins (TB) & Safety Data Sheets (SDS) before using any material. A small scale test is suggested to determine suitability of any recommendation before trying on a larger scale for any application.