One thing we get asked a lot from our very engaging and caring customers, as well as people who find us online is, ‘I have a stack of wooden pallets, would you guys like them for your business, they are free of course’. One of the most disappointing things we have to say is, no. Let us tell you about why that is on both fronts.

It is disappointing as every day we see first hand an extremely large amount of pallets lying around. Strewn across industrial front lawns, waiting in piles to be collected and discarded in alleys. It is a shame that so much natural resource goes into this short term useful but ultimately wasted product. There are some recycling programs for pallets, companies will come and collect them and re use them again, good story huh. Unfortunatley whilst it would be a great kind of ‘Toy Story’ ending if we thought our pallets got to live out their days in eternal pallety usefulness, the truth is they probably only get recycled a few times then sent to be incinerated.  And that is the ones that actually get recycled, so many businesses receive their goods on pallets and are begging for someone to take them away. I do recall in my younger, braver yet stupider years ‘borrowing’ a few pallets from our next door construction site for a fire. I distinctly remember after said fire sweeping our muddy footprints away from the back alley to hide our evidence. But we needn’t have bothered, we had it on first hand neighbourhood gossip that the builder was stoked that the pile of pallets was gone and he didn’t have to pay someone to do it.

Why we say no. The truth about pallets can be a little scary and I certainly learnt that the night we burnt those pallets from the building site. Blue and green flames are not natural and not good for you.

What we know about pallets and what we don’t know about them. There is a great resource of information on the type of pallet treatments in Australia and the types of wood, so if you are keen to use those pallets you found please have a read here first. If you are thinking of purchasing products made from pallets here are a few things to consider:

Do you know the previous life of these pallets?
Have they carried dangerous goods that may have spilled on them?
Do they carry the Heat Treated marks that mean they are safe to use?
If the pallets have been dismantled and repurposed do you know the history of each individual piece?

The reason we say no to using pallets is because generally we don’t know the background of this material and when dealing with our kids and yours we just aren’t prepared to take that gamble.

So the moral of the story is absolutely use pallets when you know the background and you know the treatment method on each piece. Any number of Pinterest searches will throw you up some great ideas for using pallets.

Castle and Cubby use 100% recycled apple crates sourced locally from one supplier in Melbourne. We have a great personal relationship with this company and we know exactly the process that this material goes through to get to us and then to you. Because the wood is being used to carry food it is subject to strict rules set out by the Food Safety Standards. So you can rest assured that what you receive from us will have no nasty surprises and no nasty chemicals or VOC’s.

Stay safe, recycle and peace out!