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How To Recycle and Dispose of Your Wooden Pallets Responsibly

brown wooden pallets

In many commercial businesses and industries, wooden pallets come in very handy in holden boxes of products. They are easy to move with a jacking device. A pallet jack, forklift, or front loader are devices to carry heaps of wooden pallets. Consequently, an entire supply or production chain may need wooden pallets, and warehouses and businesses can end up with a ton of them in their space. Shipping containers containing finished goods or production materials are moved with these pallets to their destinations. However, disposing of wooden pallets at some point may become an urgent concern for businesses, most times to free up usable space. And wooden pallets can take up an awful amount of space. 

Due to the urgent need to free space, many businesses may not care about how these pallets are disposed of. They just want a free space. However, there are a lot of ways to dispose of wooden pallets responsibly and even turn them into products that generate income. Wooden pallets can get weak or even break, rendering them unusable for the original purpose of moving otherwise heavy products. However, one of the best qualities of these materials is how recyclable wooden pallets are. You can recycle, repurpose, or sell them rather than have them end up in a landfill where they constitute a waste.

Why Recycle Wooden Pallets?

wooden pallets

In 2017, more than 12 million tons of wood ended up in landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This was about 8.7% of all landfill waste. Similarly, in 2018, while 18 million tons of wood were generated as MSW, only 3 million tons (17%) were recycled. 2.8 million tons were combusted, and more than 12 million tons ended up in landfills. This is a remarkably poor record considering that wooden pallets are about 100% recyclable.

Yet, wooden pallets lead to deforestation, representing about 50% of America’s annual hardwood consumption. It’s a $6 billion industry that gets its raw materials from cutting down wood, which has adverse impacts on the ecosystem and the environment.

Apart from generating landfill waste, wooden pallets in landfills also take up a lot of space, creating a space problem in landfills and impeding proper landfill waste management. Disposing of wooden pallets in landfills is also expensive. You’d have to spend on transporting them to landfills and get new wooden pallets when needed. Moreso, many companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and become sustainable. One way they are doing this is by reducing their landfill waste disposal and recycling their wood pallets. By recycling wood pallets, you:

  • Save cost and energy spent on manufacturing.
  • Get more value for your investment in wooden pallets
  • Reducing landfill waste and saving landfill space
  • Protect the forest and the environment, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Ways to Dispose of Your Wooden Pallets Responsibly.

road bike on a pallet

There are several ways to dispose of your wooden pallets responsibly and ensure that they do not end up in a landfill.

Find a Wooden Pallet Recycling Facility

While you can’t throw your wooden pallets in a thrash or waste container because they are simply too big, you should know that they are made from wood, a renewable and natural resource that can be made into other products or renewed. They are also very biodegradable, so there are many facilities that recycle wooden pallets and would be very happy to have your waste.

The average recycling center may not take wooden pallets. However, you can simply search “Wooden pallet recycling facility” or “wooden pallet recycling center near me” on Google and you’ll get great suggestions. Online recycling locators using these keywords on Google are great ways to find the nearest wooden pallet recycling company near you. 

Once you get in touch with them, you can ask about the process of getting the wooden pallets to them. They may offer to get it from you, although this may not always be the case. You should also make sure to ask if they pay for these resources. 

Find a Buyer

stacked wooden pallets

You may also be able to sell your wooden pallets, although this usually depends on the condition of the pallets and is usually an option when it’s in bulk. Bulk buyers often buy wooden pallets so that they can repair, refurbish and renew them for sale to other companies. They may also turn them into other products such as particle boards or mulch. You may even find a buyer for scrap pallets. There is always a market for wooden pallets, so be on the lookout for a way to get your return on investment rather than paying to get them to a landfill. 

Apart from refurbishing to make new pallets or particle boards, wooden pallets can also be recycled to make:

  • Garden mulch
  • Powerplant and generator biofuel
  • Stormwater drain biofilter

Sometimes, wooden pallets may be used as firewood, but it’s essential to check if they have been treated. During manufacturing, some wooden pallets may have been treated with chemicals that produce toxic fumes when burnt. However, if the pallets have not been treated with chemicals, they should be safe to use as firewood or burn in controlled environments.

Creative Upcycling

a person sitting on the wooden stool

If you own a company or a warehouse, in which case your wooden pallet waste is commercial waste, and you value efficiency, you may not be the one to necessarily indulge in creative upcycling yourself. However, one great way to ensure your wooden pallet is appropriately disposed of is to donate them to someone that engages in creative endeavors, whether a gardener, furniture maker, or a DIY carpenter.

There’s just about no limit to what you can use wood for. Since wooden pallets are originally made to help with transporting heavy materials and items, they’re made from strong and sturdy timber which can withstand a lot of pressure and hence, they may just be the best upcycling materials for furniture making, interior or exterior decor, gardening, or construction. Especially when it’s not been treated, which is the case for many wooden pallets. Interestingly, they may only have to remove the nails to get them ready for upcycling. Here are some upcycling ideas for wooden pallets:

  • Timber fences
  • Herb garden
  • Furniture: rustic tables, pallet chairs, bed frames
  • Bookcase
  • Coat rack
  • Study nooks
  • Planter boxes
  • Bar spaces

How Your Wooden Pallet is Recycled at The Recycling Facility

wooden pallet on the field

Step 1: Transportation

Once the wooden pallets are collected at the wooden pallet recycling facility, they are transported to the facility where they are processed.

Step 2: Separation

At the processing plant, they are then separated according to their material, quality and marketability. They may separate treated pallets from untreated pallets.

Step 3: Breaking down

They are then dismantled and rid of materials like nails, after which they are ready for processing into new pallets, scrap wood, mulch, or boiler fuel. 

Hiring a Waste Removal Professional to dispose of Your Wooden Pallets

men working in a warehouse

The easiest way to ensure responsible management, recycling, and disposal of your commercial waste is to hire a professional waste disposal service and let them handle it, from the collection to drop off and recycling. 

Dimension can help you out here! 

Not sure how to responsibly manage the bulky clutter of wooden pallets taking up all the space in your warehouse or business?  Give us a call, and we’ll get to it!

Get in touch with the Dimension team now, and we’ll talk you through a tailored, sustainable waste recycling plan that will save you time and money and help you run a planet-friendly, sustainable business.

We are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your wooden pallet waste and ensure it is disposed of, composted, and recycled sustainably.

What’s more? We don’t only handle wooden pallet waste disposal; Dimension can help with other items you don’t need, including plastic disposal, mattress pickup, couch removal, furniture removal, cardboard recycling, appliance disposal, etc. And unlike most waste disposal and junk removal companies, we are very affordable.

Give us a call today!

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