Recycling Pallets

Green Living Idea:  Recycling Pallets
By: Jen Fontaine

Two billion pallets are used to transport products every day in this country.  These are often discarded, are available free or at low cost, and can be used for any number of creative projects. Safety comes first, of course; if you’re handy and would like to rescue or reclaim some pallets, don’t try to use any that have visible stains, which may come from toxic spills.  Once you’ve found a clean pallet, look for an IPPC stamp (International Plant Protection Convention); avoid any that carry the abbreviation MB (Methyl Bromide, a powerful pesticide), even for firewood. Instead, look for the notation DB (“Debarked”), HT (“heat treated”) and KD, (“kiln-dried” for a pallet that’s likely to be safer. Avoid pallets carrying unfamiliar stamps unless you can find reliable information online about the stamp.

Once you have the pallets you need, your options are practically unlimited.  Multiple online sites provide instructions and illustrations for projects.  To name only a few attractive ones: laptop riser, coffee table or nightstand, lamp base, gate or fencing, bat box, bike rack, compost bin, outdoor chair or plant stand, and coat rack. For a polished look, pallet creations can be painted, keeping in mind the extra sanding and primer that may be needed to get smooth, even covering on porous surfaces.

Some sources:

If you have a Green Tip to share, or a comment or story, please send it to jennfontaine@gmail.com.

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