It’s time to reuse: the less we waste, the better it is for the planet, and the more we save money! Hence the idea of using old wooden pallets to make his furniture. It’s an excellent idea but it is necessary not to jump on the first palette found because some, depending on their destination, have been treated and can be very bad for your health. We therefore give you ideas for finding your pallets, but also the precautions to take.
Where to get old wooden pallets?
Whether public or private, the landfills are not suitable places to collect wooden pallets. Their vocation is the recovery of waste with a view to sorting and processing it. The process is precise and leaves no room for the recovery of materials by individuals. If you have ever witnessed manipulations of this type, they are simply illegal.
On the other hand, it is quite possible to walk in the industrial and commercial areas on the lookout for pallets stored outside the warehouses. If you do not have visual access to the warehouse areas, you can inquire at the reception of these companies. In any case, do not enter private property without permission!
The supermarkets and hypermarkets have activities which, by nature, use a lot of pallets. You can therefore contact the reception of these establishments at off-peak hours to find out if it is possible to recover them. This will likely require you to be present at the time of delivery which in some cases may be early morning.
The building sites also receive material on pallets. However, it is not clear that the pallets are recoverable due to the recycling standards that are imposed on companies. Moreover, these are not easily accessible places because they are often closed to the public and, depending on the size of the site, it will not be easy for you to find the person in charge who can authorize you to take pallets.
If wholesalers use pallets, their handling is an integral part of the logistics processes and it is not obvious that you arrive at the right time. You however inquire to ask what it is possible to do at a later date. Companies such as printing houses or household appliance stores are also interesting points of contact. The best time to go find out is then at the end of the day, before the store closes.
Where to buy old wooden pallets?
The company Palette Concept specializes in the recycling, purchase and sale of wooden pallets. It is located in the Eure, and explicitly offers an offer intended for individuals. Delivery costs in the rest of France are quite high and can double the amount of your order. The company Rotomshop located in the Pas-de-Calais also offers its services to individuals. The company Burban Palettes, located throughout France, primarily offers its services to professionals. However, you can inquire with them, according to your needs.
The company Pack Discount, a packaging specialist, sells “used one-way pallets” (i.e. light pallets intended for single use in the field of transport) which are aimed more at individuals than at professionals. The thickness of the wood is 15 mm. If the pallet itself is inexpensive (about 6 euros per unit), the delivery costs will again increase the budget devoted to the initial product. On the site eBay you will find many offers at quite attractive prices.
How to identify pallets dangerous to health?
In France, the species used for the manufacture of pallets are poplarl’spruceand the pin (Douglas, Sylvester or Maritime). Poplar is a light and easy-to-work wood, but particularly susceptible to fungal attacks. On the other hand, it gives off a pleasant smell. Pine has a tight texture and therefore excellent mechanical resistance. Spruce is renowned for its lightness while presenting good mechanical characteristics.
If there is none marking on the pallet is that it is a raw wood that has not undergone any treatment. Generally designed for a single use in the field of transport, the wood of these pallets can be reused if it is not too damaged.
Marked pallets APPLE are also safe to use. The treatment against the proliferation of insects or fungi consists in heating and drying the wood. These pallets therefore contain no toxic substances.
Marked pallets BM are however to be avoided because they have been treated with methyl bromide, a highly toxic substance.
Two tips for using pallets
Given the risks of encountering toxic substances, it is essential to recover a full pallet. If you only get a piece, it may be missing the marked part, indicating the toxicity of the treatment. It is the same for painted palettes, for which the paint can hide the marking.
In addition, it is advisable to treat the wood of the pallet yourself before making your furniture. This will ensure them a longer life.