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Photo by Andrew Cheeseman

Scoring Big with the Rain Barrel Rebate

We try to write blog posts with a nationwide focus, but every once in a while, something with a local flare is in order. This is one of those times:

Los Angeles is finally seeing some rain, and our rain barrels are full once again. We just wish we could get more rain barrels for a decent price. How about free? Yea, that would be great. Well, if you live in the Metropolitan Water District area of Los Angeles, you can get rain barrels for free or close to it through SoCal Water Smart.  We just did.

What’s this? Free rain barrels?

Photo by Andrew Cheeseman
Photo by Andrew Cheeseman

The rain barrel rebate program offers up to $100 per barrel (up from $75, as of this writing) when you purchase qualifying rain barrels and submit paperwork along with your water bill for reimbursement.

We ordered 4 barrels (the maximum allowed) through Rain Barrels International when we heard they would be distributing at our local farmers’ market this past weekend. The process was simple: order the barrels, pay for it, go pick up your barrels, submit your paperwork.

Be sure to elevate your rain barrel to take advantage of gravity.
Be sure to elevate your rain barrel to take advantage of gravity.

Gardenerd HQ is outfitted with 5 downspouts, but we only had 2 rain barrels (plus our green waste bin that recently sprung a leak). Now, we can add barrels to the open downspouts and provide an overflow reservoir for the existing barrels.

You can buy rain barrels wherever you want, and many cities offer them for sale. Check with your municipal water district, waste management facility or city council to find out where you can get city-funded rain barrels. Otherwise shop around at places like Gardener’s Supply for fancy models that look like terra cotta urns, or make your own. Find a retailer of basic recycled rain barrels near you here. As long as it qualifies for the rebate, you can get some money back.

Gardens love rain water, so capture it on site and keep your garden happy all winter long. We don’t know how long it will take to receive the rebate, or how long the appropriated funds for rebates will last. When they’re gone, they’re gone, so get on it!

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