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Industry experts discuss various topics of interest to the wood packaging industry. Learn what these thought leaders have to say on several issues, and share your comments.


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Recycling Timber & Construction Mats

Posted By Kipp Marstall, Friday, July 10, 2015

Market for Crane Mats?

This post is to begin a discussion on the Crane Mat market, submitted by industry colleague interested in  timber mat recycling. Please share your comments/opinions below.

"I was curious as to if anyone has tapped into this market before or if anyone had any insight on the topic. There seems to be a lot of excess decommissioned mats out there that just get burned or thrown in landfills. I would like be more green at the same time possibly make some profits. Shredding these oversized pallets to mulch or biomass seems to be best answer."

Tags:  business  industry  mulch  pallet  recycle  renewable  wood 

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Wondering How to Recycle a Pallet? Here are Five Easy Ways

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 17, 2014

By Steve Yelland, J.F. Rohrbaugh Co., Inc.

You’ve been working with pallets for years. You’ve bought them, re-used them and repaired them, meeting the demand for outbound shipments. Over time, you’ve accumulated pallets that simply can’t be used and are taking up space in your yard. Hesitant to send them to the landfill in a dumpster or, worse, let the pile grow in your yard? Don’t sweat it: there are multiple ways to recycle wood pallets, all of which are environmentally clean, financially sound, and helpful for others.

  1. Energy Recovery. For anyone with stores of pallets leftover during the winter, burning pallets for heating purposes is a great way to conserve energy costs and make use of old pallets. Be careful, though—avoid burning pallets that have been chemically treated, because the toxins released can be harmful to both you and the environment. Most pallets are heat-treated rather than chemically treated, so burning normally isn’t a problem.
  2. Landscape Mulch. Natural mulch is one of the best uses for recycled pallets. In addition to emitting a pleasant earthy smell in a garden, mulch helps seal in moisture for growing plants and protects them from extreme temperatures. Pallet mulch is completely organic, meaning it decomposes naturally and even looks nice in a garden — natural reds and browns complement greenery much better than inorganic mulches.
  3. Soil Enhancement. While mulch is used more for landscaping, it can also be used to enhance soil in green spaces. Naturally colored mulch is used in forest pathways and backyards to protect soil from harsh weather conditions and moisture, which keeps it healthy, regardless of whether it’s clay-based or light, earthy soil.
  4. Wood Particleboard. Many pallet recycling plants separate the pallets from the metal nails, creating wood chips ready-set for a second life as furniture, walls, or even more pallets. Particleboard is a dense type of engineered wood created from compressed wood chips and is often used to create inexpensive wood furniture—think of IKEA as a prime example.
  5. Compressed Wood Pallets. Certain manufacturers have designed new styles of pallets made from particleboard: they’re lighter, more ergonomically designed, and just as sturdy as regular pallets. They’re also exempt from ISPM 15 regulations because they’re created using glue, heat, and pressure.

Bonus: Interior Design. “Shabby chic” is in, haven’t you heard? Pallet sofas, pallet shoe racks, pallet bedframes, and pallet shelves have skyrocketed in popularity. A popular pastime for frugal or DIY designers, it’s possible to strip apart a pallet and create an entire living room set out of it. See Pinterest for details.

There’s no reason useable lumber should wind up in a dumpster. Even if your pallets have lived a good life and are now beyond repair, to simply throw them out without first considering green options would be a financial and environmental mistake. There are plenty of options that lie comfortably between the extremes of the trash can and allowing the pile of discarded pallets to consume space in your yard: it’s just a matter of which route you choose.

As President of J.F. Rohrbaugh Co., Inc., Steve is a well respected strategic visionary who continues to focus on upholding the company traditions and values that have made the family business successful since 1880.

Tags:  energy  green  mulch  pallet  recycle  reuse  upcycle 

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