Pallets may be one of the most versatile DIY materials you can find almost anywhere, but understanding how to find free wooden pallets can be an important part of the process. Whether you are on a budget or just want to spend as little money as possible, you can find free pallets in a wide variety of places: you just need to know where to look, since they are not always standing out in plain sight.
While large businesses will get plenty of wooden pallets delivered to them on a regular basis, they don’t usually need to get rid of them by giving them away for DIY projects. The larger the businesses, the more likely they are to have the disposal already covered, and they may even ship the pallets back to the company that supplies them depending on how many they get. Because of this, large businesses keep track of all pallets that arrive: if even a single pallet is missing, they may be fined, so they are sure to track each one individually.
Small business owners are more relaxed and don’t usually have these limitations, meaning that you may be able to get free pallets from them if you ask nicely. They will usually recycle or throw away each pallet they get, so it is not like they lose anything if they give each one away for free.
If you want to buy something, you can almost always find it on the internet. While you might have to narrow down your searches (expect “pallets of wood” to appear just as often as “wood pallets”), you never know what you might come across. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses online, and even a small business might offer free wood pallets. You could also find individual sellers on sides like Craigslist that are giving away free wooden pallets they don’t have the space or means to manage.
A deal like this is usually a good one: they get rid of the wood pallet, and you have a free wood pallet! Just remember that quality control and the description of the items can be lacking, so ask about the pallets before you receive them: you may find that they are too small for your needs, or that they are pallets made with a certain material that you don’t want to work with.
The companies that make pallets are often going to have pallets that don’t meet their standards: they may be too weak to work with new machinery, don’t have the strength they were supposed to have, or might simply have damaged pieces that render them unusable. You can sometimes get free pallets by asking about the spares or scraps that they have – the only catch is that these pallets will be damaged or useless in some way, so they may only be good for DIY tasks that involve scrapping the pallet itself and using the raw materials.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a company simply has spares that aren’t needed or pallets that don’t live up their standards. Whether or not they will give them away may be a coin toss, but it can be worth a try.
Any company that is dedicated to recycling will only be able to process so much at once. Because of this, they may have pallet deliveries that haven’t been recycled yet, and you may be able to ask for a small amount of them for free. While they can’t give away pallets that have been used to move dangerous chemicals, oil, or raw food, you still have a chance of getting one from them.
Smaller-scale recycling companies may also allow people to take anything that they can re-use, with pallets being one of the more common items. Don’t be afraid to ask: pallets are incredibly useful, but can also be a pain for smaller groups to recycle, so they may even be pleased at having somebody take a few off their hands.
As A Pickup Company
You can earn a consistent supply of pallets quite easily if you need them that badly – offer to become a company’s pallet recycle or pickup manager. This means that you can help a local business keep their waste empty by picking up pallets at a consistent time, allowing a store (or multiple stores) to have an easier time while you take away the pallets they don’t need.
While some stores may reject you, you only need one to agree to have a stable supply. Hardware stores and similar businesses will be much more likely to give away their pallets, so approaching them with the idea is never a bad thing. If they refuse, you can move on to another building and ask there. Even the smallest place might be willing to give you a pallet or two per month, which is a good offer regardless of how large-scale your projects can become.
The only problem with this is that you will need somewhere to store pallets. Take on too many at once, and you might end up having to leave them in an outside area. If you are somebody who sells each DIY project or has a contact that can take them off your hands to sell elsewhere, then this becomes an easy job. If you are making your projects for yourself and not selling them, it is easy to feel overwhelmed if too many pallets start rolling in, so be smart with the deal you make.