Monday, March 31, 2014
Pallet Recycling / What is a Pallet?
A pallet is a flat structure used for transporting goods while being lifted by a forklift or a pallet jack or any other similar jacking device. A pallet is sometimes called a skid. A pallet is usually the foundation of a unit load design. Pallets can be made of wood, metal, plastic, and even paper.
The expanding use of containerization for the transport of goods has also resulted in the increased use of pallets because containers have level and clean surfaces ideally suited for the movement and storage of loaded pallets.
Most pallets have a load bearing capacity easily exceeding 1000 kilograms which is roughly equivalent to 2000 pounds.
Each year over a half a billion pallets are manufactured and in the United States alone more than 2 billion pallets are in use.
Pallets make transport more efficient and cost effective because goods can be moved faster and with less manpower. Organizations that use pallets for transport generally have lower costs for handling and transportation than organizations that don’t use pallets.
Pallet Recycling / Why Recycle Pallets?
In the Unites States only home construction uses more new wood than the construction of pallets. A pallet sometimes has a very limited useful life. It has to meet specifications to continue to be useful.
Once damage occurs they are simply cast aside.
Recycling wooden pallets can actually be more cost beneficial to a company because of the reduction of initial production costs. Recycled wooden pallets often prove to stronger and stiffer because the wood is seasoned already and can be stronger than boards used for the first time.
Stronger boards can resist breaking and therefore can result in less damaged goods and breakage and can also result in less injury to personnel.
Pallet Recycling / Getting Creative
So what can one do with used pallets? Actually if you possess a creative mind and a proactive spirit there are a number of things you can do.
Here are just a few ideas:
1. Build a fence.
2. Create an out door stairway to your treehouse.
3. Break it down and make a birdhouse.
4. Create a platform or your potted flowers.
5. Make a compost bin.
Pallet Recycling / Added Benefits to the Environment
Recycled wood is often dryer and contains less water than new boards which means less corrosion, mold, and mildew. This can increase both the life of the pallet and the goods they hold. Of course the most benefit from using recycled wood is to the environment and the enormous saving of valuable natural resources.
Plastic pallets can also be recycled. Crumbling devices can turn old discarded plastic pallets into plastic pellets that can be remanufactured into playground equipment, floor mats, molded landscape accessories, and patio furniture.
The costs are of course higher because of the cost of the special machinery but the cost to the environment can be higher if these discarded pallets then end up in landfills