Pallets are all the rage these days, with people pinning projects using them left and right. And why shouldn’t they be? Solid wood, usually already worn a bit, easy to access, and my favorite…FREE (most of the time). There are so many different projects you can use a pallet for. Some people make pretty good money off their pallet projects, while others just enjoy using their wood to improve their own homes on the cheap. Whatever your motivation is for wanting a pallet, here are a few ways to find them.
How to Find Pallets for Your Projects
On the side of the road
I oftentimes drive by pallets on the side of the road. If it’s safe enough, I’ll park, get out and haul it to my minivan. Having a large vehicle helps for this option. Remember to keep safety a priority, and be wise about where you park, how busy the road is, how decrepit the piece is (is it worth the work), etc..
Construction and Home Building Sites
Construction crews leave pallets in and beside dumpsters all the time. I would certainly suggest connecting with a crew member or manager onsite and asking before dumpster diving, if possible. If you can build a relationship with a foreman, sometimes he will even go so far as to have them dusted off and stacked for you at a certain time and place. For as many times as I’ve asked for the, I have also been known to drag a few away before or after hours.
Ask for Them From Your Neighbors
Use Next Door or other local social media apps to put out the PA that you will come pick up any pallets neighbors have from a recent delivery. Taking a quick ride through your neighborhood the night before the trash gets taken is also sometimes effective. My neighbors recently had a screened in porch built on the back of their home, and gave me 8 amazing pallets after it was all said and done. Score!
Check out the FREE section of your local Craigslist, and see what others are offering. Also, you could put an ad out on CL to ask anyone to contact you if they have any they want to get rid of. Be sure to renew your ad as much as CL allows to keep it up to date.
If you go to a big box store, they usually already have their pallets in a recycle program, which saves their bottom line. But smaller businesses may have plenty piling up, and need to find someone who can take them off their hands. Go in, talk to the business owner, share with him or her what you are hoping to create, and that someone may be you!
Talk to your friends
I am always talking to my friends about the different projects I have going on. Whether it’s face to face or on social media, let people know what you’re doing and that you are looking for pallets. I have a few friends who work at establishments that receive pallets all the time. They are more than willing to bring a few home each week, or even let me come and pick them up.
Pet Supply Stores
Pet food and other supplies usually come on pallets, and the pet supply stores are often looking for ways to get them gone before they stack up and get in the way.
Get The Right Pallets
When you’re picking up a pallet, check it to make sure it has been Heat Treated instead of chemically treated. You can tell if it’s been heat treated because it will usually have a HT stamp on it somewhere. Also, if you see that there is a good chance it was used to transport hazardous materials or chemicals, it’s best to leave it alone and look elsewhere. Thankfully, most are heat treated.
Other Pallet-y Stuff