If the decision is made to offer a pallet recycling program, a critical next step is securing an end market for the materials. Pallets can be “recycled” by a number of different type markets, ranging from reuse and repair to grinding for mulch or boiler fuel. The N.C. Recycling Markets Directory lists pallet recyclers.
Pallet Reuse and Repair
Recyclers may pay for pallets, take them for free or charge to take them, depending upon the amount and kinds available from any given generator.
Most pallet recycling companies are interested primarily in receiving immediately reusable or repairable pallets. These pallets represent the highest value for pallet recyclers and generate the best deal for suppliers (local governments). Many pallet recyclers also work to restore broken pallets to working condition to get as much value as they can from the product.
If pallets are not suitable for reuse or repair, they can be ground for other uses such as landscape mulch, playground cushion bedding, animal bedding, compost and soil amendments or biomass fuel. Many companies that offer pallet repair services are also capable of this type of processing. Other types of recycling firms such as commercial composters, wood waste grinders and construction waste recyclers are possible outlets for discarded pallets.