How can I reuse or recycle old guttering/drainpipes?

Earlier this week, someone on my local Freecycle group asked if anyone had any old plastic guttering/drainpipes because she wanted to cut it in half to use for seedlings. I thought that was a pretty genius idea but wondered what else could be done with it…

There is a section of old drainpipe in the woods next to our house too – I haven’t investigated it too closely yet but I think it’s an old metal one, so not as easily hackable but still potentially useful.

Any suggestions?

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7 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old guttering/drainpipes?”

  1. caroline says:

    in one house we lived in we had a water butt that drained water from the shed roof – it was just a barrel and some old guttering.
    Other ideas – you could make a water feature or grow celery in them?

  2. Chelsea says:

    In highschool we used gutters that had open tops. We would set them in lines in our green house and use them for aquaponics/hydroponics. at one end would be a fish tank, or a main tank. Water from thier was fed into the gutters via pumps. In the gutters we had plants growing in the wet-foam material florist use. It was held in place by either a peice of plastic, or was actually floating on the water. The plants grew this way with only water to feed them. At the end of the gutters, the water emptied into a catch basin, and was pumped back up to the main tank again. This cleaned the water for the fish and recycled the water.

    This system works well for herb gardens as well as other veggies like lettaces, peppers, tomatoes, and green onions. For the tomatoes and peppers we used a gravel bed instead of the gutters but the principle was the same. If anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them. you can also look up hydroponics or aquaponics on google. Have a nice day!

    • louisa says:

      Hi Charlotte,

      It’s very interesting that you mentioned aquaponics – I was just looking into that the other day and it’ll be my “how can I make this” post tomorrow!

      -louisa :)

  3. daniel says:

    Hey Chelsea that idea sounds kickass!

    How high up was the fish tank?

    I have put up old gutters on side of garden shed/chook house…

    put chillies in em but too early and they fried!! :o

    Thinking bout making area into hothouse with plastic and maybe fishies or rainwater tank…

    Any info appreciated


    Cheers and have a gr8 day!

    • Chelsea says:

      I dont remember the exact details because that was a few years ago… This website has a similar idea for smaller setups. The one thing I do remember is that the angle of the pipes affected the speed at which the water flowed.

      If the water was flowing to fast, the plants might not get the nutrients. So its best to have a slighter angle on the gutters so the water flows at the rate of a slow creek. The edible fish are an option also, but common goldfish or koi work great too.

      This method produces the best herbs! and delicious tomatoes and peppers. And you dont have to dig in the dirt to get your veggies!
      Good luck!

  4. James says:

    Hello I am from Easy Flow guttering systems.

    I have seen people use old guttering to transfer water from hand pumps to their fish tanks in the province. Hand pumps are common here in remote areas. So hoses won’t be of any use, instead they use old gutters.
    Round pvc downpipes are recycled there also, what they do is cut it into short sections and place it inside the fish tanks. They say fish use it for hiding places.
    I was there to learn about aquaculture, thanks for the posts on aquaponics, I am interested to try that also.

  5. HobbyGardner says:

    Nice idea, re-using gutters or other parts for aquaponics. I am doing the same, currently re-using some plastic tubs, plastic pots and working on other parts to build up an aquaponic system.

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