How Repurposed Shipping Containers Are Changing Communities

Written by Economic Development Jobs on March 21, 2017. Posted in Cargo storage container, Storage containers for sale nj, Used shipping containers

Used shipping containers for sale nj

In township in a coastal town in South Africa, a group of kindergarten students is learning to read. They are sounding out the letters as they are taught how to string them together into words. The teacher is proud of her classroom. Just a year earlier she had been forced to cram the 30 or so five and six year olds into the front room of a shack. No lighting, no heating and little in the way of comfort meant that learning was tough. Now, though, their classroom is well lit and offers a comfortable well kitted out learning environment in what was once a shipping container. The refitted shipping container was donated to the impoverished school by a group of university students in collaboration with local businesses. The college students also lent a helping hand by working together to paint the container and brighten the live so the children who sit in it every day. Storage container modifications like these can not only cut down on waste, but can also change lives.

While most associate shipping containers with traditional uses such as export, used shipping containers can be repurposed in a number of ways. A school in Orange County is made of 32 shipping containers that have been made into a science lab, a library, a student lounge and an auditorium as well as offices and classrooms. Unlike the South African example, the Orange Country initiative, which cost $2 million, is a green project that uses recycled materials.

Steel shipping containers are among the most durable and versatile of items. They can last as long as 20 years if they are looked after well, according to to Container Auction, and are regularly maintained. They can become offices or classrooms, be used for community events and get togethers, or made into ablution facilities. Container pop up shops are also popular options.

Globally there are more than 17 million shipping containers in circulation, with the number of active shipping containers sitting at more then five million. This means that there are approximately 11 million shipping containers that are currently unused and could be converted into useful buildings such as schools or shops or even homes for people through storage container modifications.

Of course, containers are used for traditional functions too. Climate controlled containers are often used for movement of goods for export. Most (95%) such cargo is moved by ship, since it is cheaper than most other transport methods. High volume ships — the largest container ships are 1,300 feet long and as much as 180 feet wide — offer cost effective and reliable ways to move good. A 40 foot high cube container can hold over 8,000 shoe boxes, while a standard container can hold about 3,500. Billie Box estimates that shipping containers make about 200 million trips a year. Losses of shipping containers at sea number about 675 a year.

Recycling shipping containers also makes environmental sense. Doing so reuses about 3,500kg worth of steel; in addition it means that the traditional building materials like bricks, mortar and wood do not need to be used. Cutting down on the use of these materials is vital for improving the health of the environment. Storage container modifications can make a significant difference in the live so impoverished communities while also cut down on waste and encouraging reuse of materials for building. Whether such investments are done for poor communities or for environmental reasons, the benefits are numerous.

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