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Repairing Your Wooden Pallets

20 Aug 2018

Wooden pallets are common in a huge range of applications that need to transport produce, including agriculture. The pallets have to put up with a lot of wear and tear, as they’re stacked on other pallets and moved between boats, lorries, trains and warehouses.¬†Inevitably, pallets get damaged, and this can present a hazard to people working with them.

Protruding wood can rip clothing and cut people working with the pallets, while damaged boards can fail, with the possibility that a heavy load could fall and cause injuries.

The great news is that unlike plastic pallets, wooden ones can be repaired. And if they are too damaged to repair, the wood can be recycled. Both repair and recycling are environmentally responsible and cost-effective.

stacking pallets

Repairing Your Wooden Pallets

As well as being far cheaper than buying new wooden pallets, repairing broken ones reaps major environmental benefits. The more that businesses can reuse and repair the resources they use, the lower their carbon footprint. So repairing pallets is definitely the eco-friendly option. It preserves trees and saves the energy that would otherwise be used to make and transport new pallets.

Repairs on Wooden Pallets

– Replacing any loose parts with tighter-fitting material
– Replacing boards that are damaged or missing
– Filling in any gaps in the nails with fresh ones
– Checking that the pallet surfaces are properly aligned
– Recycling and sourcing recycled pallets

If you decide that repairing your wooden pallets is the way to go, you need to bear in mind the ISPM-15 requirements. If the pallet is going to be used to hold goods for export, then the ISPM-15 heat treatment and other requirements will have to be reapplied, even if you have simply replaced one of the boards. The old compliance marks will have to be removed and new ones applied once the board has been recertified.

Recycling Wooden Pallets

If, for any reason, you decide that repairing your wooden pallets is not possible, you still have two very eco-friendly options. Firstly, you can send the old pallets off for recycling. Prices for old pallets depend on the type of pallets and their condition, but if you have a reasonable quantity of pallets, it may be worth negotiating a price. You can even sell single pallets to pallet dealers.

The pallets are turned into particle board, wood chip, animal bedding, mulch and other products. If you want to buy recycled wooden pallets, make sure that they are fit for use in your application, especially if you want to use them for export. They will need to have been heat-treated and marked with the compliance codes that show this has been done.

Some businesses have a sideline selling their old pallets to enthusiasts, who use them for everything from raised beds in the garden to self-built furniture.

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