What is Wooden Pallet Recycling Work?
A pallet holds boxes of products, and can be easily handled with a forklift, front loader, pallet jack, and other jacking devices. Pallets are mainly used in the shipping industry and are made to hold boxes of products. There are many types of pallets, including wood, plastic, paper, and metal.
Nevertheless, what happens to empty wood pallets, which usually pile up outside warehouses and in alleys behind small businesses after they have completed their shipping jobs?
Most pallets don’t end up in landfills, they’re usually reused, repaired, or recycled. You can even use some of them as fuel. According to research, over 90% of wood pallets are repurposed.
Forests and energy are saved when pallets are recycled. By recycling 400 million pallets a year, the world could save 50 million trees. Recycling also keeps stuff out of landfills. Let’s explore pallet recycling in more detail.
The history of pallet recycling
Pallets are sorted, refurbished, dismantled, and reconstructed for sale. Additionally, pallets and pallet components may be ground for fiber products or wooden pellets.
The most common pallet sizes are 48×40, 48×48, 42×42, and 40×40″. Pallet recyclers generally prefer those sizes. In recent years, the pallet recycling industry has grown rapidly and significantly.
Reconditioned pallets are becoming more popular as pallet users become more aware of pallet recycling. Even better, reconditioned pallets are often cheaper than new pallets of similar quality, which makes them even more appealing.
What’s the best way to recycle pallets?
There are a lot of ways you can recycle used, broken, and damaged pallets. Pallets with slight damage, for instance, can be repaired by pallet processing companies and sold back on the market at a discount.
Pallets that are seriously damaged are usually shredded. Using a magnet, nails and staples are separated from the shredded paper and sent to a metal recycler. A pallet is usually made of the same wood.
You’ll get a consistent product if you reuse the wood. Send your unused pallets to a pallet recycler for reprocessing. There are some recyclers who’ll pay you for your pallets, and there are others who don’t.
Consider taking your old pallets to non-profits that might benefit from them. Old pallets are sometimes used for storage by animal shelters, food banks, and local small businesses.
You now know how pallets are recycled, so let’s see what you can do with the wood.
What can you do with recycled pallet wood?
How To Re-use Old Pallets at Home
If you don’t have much garden space, pallets can make a great bed. It’s as easy as leaning a pallet against a wall, adding landscaping fabric for stability, filling it up with soil, and planting at the bottom.
You can also make raised beds from pallets by laying them flat on the ground. Pallets can also be repurposed in other ways, like:
- Creating a bookshelf from a pallet is a great way to organize your stuff.
- Old pallets can be used to make flower boxes for indoors and outdoors.
- You can make wood pallet flooring if you’re a DIYer. Recycled pallets can be used to make a refurbished wood floor. You’ll end up with a beautiful space with uneven planks and varying wood stains, even if it takes longer than a weekend.
- Constructing wall shelves is another great way to reuse wood pallets at home. Just dismantle the pallets and mount them to the wall once they’re the size you want. It’s a great way to showcase your artwork, pictures, and other valuables.
- Invest in an inexpensive headboard instead of an expensive one. The charm of your bedroom can still be enhanced with a pallet anchored to the wall behind the bed and adorned with wall decals.
- You can build a fence around your yard with old pallets. This kind of fence is great for delineating smaller outdoor spaces. Put some chicken wire in your garden to keep rabbits and other rodents away.
You can also paint a border to make your patio look great. Don’t forget to secure the pallets. Stakes or roofing nails will do the trick.
Remember, if you’re growing food or making compost in pallet structures, don’t use painted pallets. The company that supplies the pallets usually collects and reuses the brown, red, and blue ones.
Pallets with MB stamps should also be avoided. The MB stands for Methyl Bromide, which protects pallets from insects. A few years ago, this chemical was banned in the UK.