Before crushing or compacting steel drums, cans or pails, it is highly important to drain all the liquid content inside before crushing to avoid any material turning rusty, especially the compactor itself. Also, we have to make sure that these liquids are not hazardous or special treatment must be applied before it contaminates other stacks of metals, which could later be hazardous as well for humans. Next is how we drain these liquids before crushing drums.
For non-hazardous liquids
If you are completely sure that the liquids in the drum you are about to compact is non-hazardous, simply let it drain to another container in an upside down manner overnight. When it’s done, wipe the whole drum from any leftover liquids.
For hazardous liquids
Follow the safety procedure of disposing hazardous liquid. If it can still be reused, then keep it for future use. In the motor oil case, for example, you should NOT drain it in the toilet, sink, ground or any place that may allow it to have contact with clean water and contaminate the whole pond and living things living in it. Instead, go to the nearest mechanic shop and ask them if you can leave the used motor oil there. Most will happily accept it, as mechanics know how to recycle used motor oil to new usable oil. Use applicable safety gear when handling/draining hazardous liquids to keep yourself safe. Make sure the drum is totally free of hazmat, and then you can start crushing it.
For unknown liquids
You don’t know whether the liquid stored in the drums are safe or hazardous. In this case, you should perform a test or have a special consultant to test the content of your drum to make sure it’s safe for disposal. This may be costly, though still not as costly as injuring many lives when the liquid contaminates the environment.
Act responsibly for the better future of our children. If every business and household does this, a brighter future for our kids is definitely plausible.