Used wooden pallets have been used by both large corporations for their shipping needs and by individuals in a wide range of DIY woodworking projects such as potting benches, patio furniture, porch swings, beds, and compost bins. In many cases, they can be obtained for free, and they can be used to create something unique, as there are numerous possibilities.
How can I find free pallets in my local area?
Whether it is to start a home craft project, or to find more steady sources of used pallets for a pallet recycling business or yard. Many people, known as “pallet pirates” will roam around collecting pallets as a side hustle and will sell them to local pallet yards for a good side income. Free pallets often come in unusual sizes, small qualities, or in situations where they are otherwise undesirable due to their poor condition, appearance, or odd dimensions.
Although you might be excited about these projects, you might still have a question in your mind: where do I find free pallets near me? Is there a store that you can visit that can give you the items to you if you ask nicely? The toughest part of the entire process can be sourcing them. However, a number of businesses and some individuals end up disposing of them since they do not need them.
When looking for free wooden pallets, there are a few tips and things to keep in mind. If you are looking for free lumber, many of these same tips can be applied.
What is the most effective way to find free pallets near me?
Many large companies will order a large amount of supplies, and most or all of those supplies may arrive on wooden pallets as part of the shipment. Despite the fact that this may seem like an excellent opportunity for you to jump in and snag a few dozen or more to use in your woodworking projects, you are probably not going to be able to.
Among the larger companies such as Cosco, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart, it is likely that the pallets will be returned, recycled, and reused either internally or with the assistance of third-party companies as part of their logistics teams. Do not get your hopes up about big businesses, but asking the store manager is never a bad idea. If they do have someone removing tem it never hurts to ask how much moeny they are getting per pallet and try to out bid them.
Another option is to look for small businesses that may be able to help you. In most cases, small businesses throw their pallets into the dumpster because they don’t have the budget for a pallet hauling company. This is because they are too busy to do it or don’t have the time. In some cases, they may even put them out next to dumpsters so that trash services can pick them up once they are done with them.
Additionally, if you strike a deal with the workers or managers of the company, you might be able to find free pallets on construction sites. Getting in touch with us is as easy as picking up the phone and asking.
It is important to ask before taking free pallets
When there is only a very limited quantity of pallets available, or when the pallets are not one of the most popular sizes, such as the standard 48″ x 40″, then it is far more likely that the pallets will be released at no cost to the collector. Pallets stored outside of a small business are not always available for the taking. Before removing pallets from the property of a small business, a pallet collector should obtain permission from the owner of that business. It is possible, however, that once a relationship has been established between the pallet enthusiast and the proprietor, the pallet enthusiast may be granted permission to collect empty pallets at any time he wishes.
It is important to note that pallet markings are a matter of caution. Many pallets have ownership stamps, such as CHEP, PECO, iGPS, Coca-Cola, U.S. Postal Service, and others. These pallets should not be removed if they have ownership stamps on them. This type of company often claims that they will vigorously enforce their property rights over their pallets. This may result in you being accused of unlawful possession of those pallets.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to keep in mind that pallets that are leaning against a wall or sitting next to a trash can may not be free to take. The chances are that they do, but if you want to be safe, it is best to ask beforehand.
Check out these locations if you are looking for free pallets
There are a lot of places around the country where free pallets can be found and where pallets are disposed of after they have been used. Once you begin to take note of pallets, whether they are being unloaded at a location, or whether they are being placed outside to rest against a wall, the possibility of being able to secure a supply begins to emerge. Once you develop a pattern, you will be able to keep returning to the same location on the day they typically are available. This is because you are interested in empty pallets as the result of a regular delivery cycle, such as the regular delivery to a feed and tack store.
If you are in the right place at the right time, that may be all you need to make it happen. The best pallets are the ones that are in new condition, clean and dry. It is normal for pallets that have been used several times to become soiled and stained as a result of repeated use. Due to their potential for harboring bacteria, they are less appealing to the hobby pallet enthusiast, as they are more likely to harbor germs. It would be ideal for pallet enthusiasts looking for a weathered appearance, however, if they are looking for free, clean pallets instead.
In general, dry goods industries seem to produce the best pallets. The wood integrity was maintained by carrying lighter weight goods. Additionally, dry goods are usually free of spills and food stains, which makes them suitable for use on pallets.
Pallets are likely to be used by any business with inbound or outbound shipment. The internet is a good place to start if you are searching for free pallets near me.
Here are some sources of free, clean pallets:
- Local Bars and Clubs
- Stores that sell pet food
- Stores that sell feed and tack
- Local Grocery Chains
- Stores that sell furniture and home goods
- There are many liquor stores in the city
- Local schools
- Stores that deal with flooring
- There are also other small retail stores in the area
- Construction sites (usually large and bulky pallets).
- Shops that sell hardware
- Small local garden shops
- Woodworking stores
- Automobile or mechanical equipment stores
- Paper manufacturers
- Pet stores
- Grocery stores
Establish a pickup service of your own in your city
You may be able to obtain free pallets from a small business in exchange for helping them dispose of their pallets; become their waste recycling service.
Ask if you may take a load if you are aware of any local businesses that are constantly disposing of them. You could always offer your services at no cost if they are already paying someone to perform this task. The excess materials you do not use can then be donated to someone who needs them or disposed of at a landfill.
It is possible that the company may eventually contact you if they have other types of waste that you could use or sell.
Look for the Distribution Center in your area
The company receiving the pallets may not be able to deliver them to you, so you may be able to work directly with the distribution center shipping the pallets out directly.
It is possible that they may have tons of them that do not fit their equipment, are slightly damaged, or do not meet the standards that they have set for them. You may ask if they will be able to set them aside for you to pick up when you are ready.
Additionally, you should keep an eye out for companies that recycle pallets. It may be possible for them to give some pallets away to you for free if they do not charge you a small fee for this service.
Make use of the Internet
Obtaining free wood pallets is not as difficult as you may think. It is simply a matter of forming relationships with individuals who are either looking for them (and perhaps you can work together to find them) or just have excess pallets that you can take advantage of.
If you search on Google for terms such as “free pallets near me” or “free wooden pallets near me”, you may get some helpful results. As long as someone else has pallets available for free or a cheap price, you are free to advertise anything you want to get rid of. Free Facebook Groups and Craiglist are good place to start
As well as finding old pallets, it may also be possible to purchase them – usually online – in addition to finding them. There are a variety of recycled pallets and disassembled recycled pallet kits available at The Home Depot. Pallet wood can also be found on websites such as Etsy and Craigslist, but the price is higher.
How to inspect wooden pallets before bringing them home?
- Safety notes before taking home used pallets
- Taking the necessary precautions when it comes to collecting and working with old pallets is very important before you start collecting and working with them
- Use heavy-duty gloves whenever you are working with pallets, or when you are picking them up. A good rule of thumb is to wear a mask and eye protection when cutting or sanding a pallet.
- If you see nails sticking out or splinters, make sure to keep an eye out for them. There might be massive fissures or splits in the wood on both the front as well as the back of the pallet that might make it an unsuitable pallet to use if there is significant damage to the wood.
It is also recommended that you do not use pallets that are stained with oil or grease. When it comes to removing or covering up petroleum stains, it is extremely difficult.
Review Markings and Stamps
You may be able to identify some pallets by their stamps or markings. In the event that there are no markings on it, then it came from a domestic product. There is a requirement that any pallet that contains wood or plant products from outside the country must have a stamp from the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
In accordance with the IPPC, the following markings have been approved:
- HT (Heat Treated): A heat treatment method using a conventional steam generator or a dry kiln heat chamber with various temperatures
- DH (Dielectric Heated): This is a heat treatment using dielectric heating (microwaves or radio wave energy).
- MB (Methyl Bromide): is a chemical fumigation treatment (that leaves behind chemical residue after the treatment) that uses methyl bromide.
- SF (Sulphuryl Fluoride): In some cases, sulfur fluoride is used as a fumigation chemical treatment
It is imperative that you carefully examine the pallets if you are purchasing your food from a grocery store, as spills and stains could be present on the pallets. There is a possibility that some stains can turn into mold over time if they are not treated properly.
Where to Buy Used Pallets?
The reality is if you are looking for the standard 48 x 40 size pallet and need it in reasonable condition you are going to have to purchase them. Almost every company knows these pallets have value and are currently getting paid for thier removal. Most pallet recycling companies pay anywhere from $4 – $8 per pallet.
Larger quantities of pallets of standard sizes such as 48 by 40 inches or other popular sizes often command a higher price. It is not unusual for small quantities of empty pallets to be picked up by pallet street vendors, widely known as pallet pirates. These vendors in turn sell them to pallet recycling companies, who in turn resell them for a profit.
Large Manufacturing Business
Businesses such as 3PL facilities that generate large amounts of empty pallets on a regular basis can be contacted by larger pallet recycling companies in order to get them to pick up their pallets regularly or sweep their docks regularly. Larger generators of surplus pallet cores often expect to be paid for the pallet cores they generate, and may have an exclusive arrangement in place with a recycling company to ensure they are paid for their pallet cores. As soon as you begin to discover your local market prices for 48 x 40s in your area, you will be able to get an idea of how these prices differ from region to region.
As well as price, pallet recyclers may also compete for cores on the basis of how well they service their clients. Pallet recyclers may be required to drop off empty trailers for the business to load as they produce empty pallets, or they may provide smaller quantity pickups to the business if the business does not have enough space or a dock door to facilitate the storage of empty pallets inside or on a drop trailer. It is not unusual for pallet street vendors to use flatbeds or pickup trucks to pick up smaller quantities of pallets, and sometimes they use utility trailers to do so as well.