Pallet Truck Shop, one of the foremost pallet truck providers in the UK, is urging more businesses to recycle their old and worn pallets, as recycling rates in the UK continue to stall.
WRAP estimates that around 600m tonnes of products and materials enter the UK economy each year, but just 115m tonnes are recycled – which means around 485m tonnes of new products each year are slowly filling up the UK. Now, Pallet Truck Shop is urging its customers to do their bit for the UK’s recycling statistics by recycling or reusing as many of their old, damaged pallets as possible.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Truck Shop, says, “The government is taking lots of steps to try and boost our recycling rates – like the recent 5p plastic bag charge, for example. But businesses must play their part too. The vast majority of our customers buy pallet trucks and other lifting equipment to be used with wooden pallets – and we’d like to take this opportunity to encourage more of those businesses to think twice about what they’ll do with their pallets once they become unusable.”
He adds, “There are countless organisations out there that will buy up old pallets for recycling or reuse – or businesses could be inventive and come up with their own schemes for recycling the pallets, like selling them to local craftsmen or breaking them down and using the raw materials for other projects.”
There are two ways in which pallets can be dismantled to recycle the parts. Circular disc disassembly is the simplest and oldest approach to taking them apart. This method involves free-turning discs and an adjustable table top, with the pallet being fed through the discs slowly to shear off the fasteners. This removes the deck boards from the pallet stringer and releases the lumber. Some of the wood can be damaged using this method, so it’s best to go for this option if you’re not planning to use the leftover lumber for any kind of construction or other project.
Bandsaw dismantling is the other, less damaging option, which is a little more time consuming but does negate the risk of exposed nail nubs after the pallet has been disassembled. A bandsaw blade simply runs above the table at a height that will cut through the bottom boards, releasing them from the pallet entirely.
Phil continues, “For businesses that are planning to ramp up their recycling activity, why not consider installing a disassembly station within the workplace? When pallets go out of use, they can be disassembled, with the raw materials either sold on or used as spare parts for other pallets. Businesses should be doing anything they can to contribute to the UK’s recycling industry and help create a more circular economy.”