Recycling Your Old Water Tanks

As an Australian homeowner, one of the biggest problems you probably have faced at least once in your adult life is how you can dispose of old water tanks, most especially the old wooden or metal barrels you started using several rainy days ago. If you’ve had enough of disposing old water tanks or barrels somewhere remote and contribute to the land’s pollution, recycling is one of your best bets.

How should you recycle an old water tank before getting a new one from us? Here are a few ideas. Old large water tanks can be converted into a range of useful objects. If you want to really spruce up the reclaimed tank once it’s been transformed into something new – a table, a bookshelf or any number of things, a good tip is to get it painted at a repair shop for cars. For a relatively low price the metal can be professionally spray painted in an array of colours and finishes from matte to shiny.

Plant Container

Old barrels, whether they are made of wood or made of plastic, can be reused as plant containers. Cut them in half lengthwise, and then drill holes on both halves before placing them on wooden or metal supports. Place soil, fertilizer, and your choice of plants afterwards.

Book Shelf

There are many ways to go about making a book shelf out of old barrels or tanks, all of which depend on how many books you want stored in it. For this project, what you basically need are a number of panels to be placed horizontally, and their respective supports.


Old barrels, particularly the wooden ones, can be brought back to life in the form of tables. Just make sure to rid them of impurities like algae before cutting them up or setting them up in the living room, cafe, or your bedroom.


Bringing old large metal or poly tanks back to life in the form of playhouses is another way to prevent disposing them. Creating your playhouses out of them is easy: after removing rust and/or dirt buildup on them, cut out the bottom and plant whatever remains of the tank on a flat surface, preferably a new concrete base. Once the concrete base has dried up, cut out some of the tank wall to create windows and entrance. Dull all sharp edges to prevent accidents during play sessions. Paint the tank interior and exterior with any colour or design you and your kids agree on, making sure to use paint safe for plastics in case you’ll be converting a poly tank into a playhouse.

Parts of the Playground

Small poly barrels or tanks that cannot be converted into playhouses can be converted into other elements of a playground, particularly parts of an obstacle course. It’s up to you how you want to shape them, as long as you tidy them up before converting.


Consider this idea if you own a large property with a large vacant area you want to convert into a mini-forest or ranch. After all, nature doesn’t care when or where she calls you.

There are many ways to convert the old tank from storage unit to human waste disposal unit. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you free it of rust and apply rust protection to it (applies to metal tanks only) before converting. Once you have done this, you can then add the toilet, which should then be connected to the plumbing afterwards.

If the old rainwater tank is large enough, you can add shower heads and taps as well.