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No one in the environmental movement really thinks much about pallets. The pallet is literally the platform of the material handling industry. It doesn’t matter how nice your warehouse is, how good your equipment is or even if you have best material handling personnel in the world. If the stuff you’re moving is on bad pallets, you’ll encounter all sorts of trouble. Bad pallets, however, have a million and one good uses, and can also be recycled easily.
Pallet recycling is a booming business. Use of old pallets by ordinary citizens is quite an activity of itself. An old pallet makes a great base for a garden compost. It provides a solid foundation with lots of room for air to move. What to use for the walls of a compost bin…more pallets. How about a pallet-burning stove? Yes, they exist, and in fact have existed for a long time. Un-painted pallets are typically not laden with wood preservatives so they burn cleanly and easily.
Material handlers are the original recyclers
If you started in logistics at the bottom of the totem pole, chances are excellent that you spent some time rebuilding pallets in order to earn your keep. You yanked the good boards off of a pallet that had broken stringers and you put those boards onto another pallet that had broken slats. You were the ultimate recycler. Warehouses recycle millions of pallets every day-and so do pallet factories.
Plastic and aluminum-not just for bottles and cans
Aluminum pallets are still a bit of obscurity in most of the logistics arena, but plastic pallets are nothing new. It may be news to many that no both types of pallets are readily recycled-usually into brand-new pallets. These pallets are typically recycled in pallet factories which have the necessary equipment. Recycling these pallets is a big job and process is fascinating. Videos will show you how it’s done. This is recycling that goes on every day, simply because it makes environmental sense and because it saves and created dollars and revenue in the process. Paper-based pallets, still a fairly new product, are also easily recycled in the plants where they are made, and can sometimes be recycled in the regular waste stream.
Get permission before becoming a pallet collector
Pallet reclamation is in itself a sizable industry. If you can find a place that wants them, you can collect them from different locations and collect payment from the buyer. Just make sure you have permission to take the pallets from wherever you get them. Even if the pallets look trashed and are in a yard with no gate, you may still be guilty of multiple crimes if you take them without permission. Across the USA, an increasing number of pallet collectors have been arrested in various scenarios. Pallets that are considered repairable may likely be valued at full price by claims adjusters and police who investigate potential pallet theft crimes. Take the warning seriously. A small truckload of pallets is still worth enough to make taking them a felony theft.