Establishing a second source of income is an important step toward financial independence and is on many people’s thoughts. A simple concept like starting a recycling business can go a long way toward helping you make extra money and transform your financial situation. What, on the other hand, can you recycle? In this essay, I’ll teach you how to make money by recycling wood pallets.
When it comes to the transportation and storage of most products, pallets play an important role in businesses. Sadly, most firms are unable to dispose of their used pallets in a more environmentally friendly manner. They leave them to rot on their property, throw them away in landfills, or burn them in the fire pit, probably because they don’t know what to do with them or how to dispose of pallets.
But did you know that you can make money by recycling wood pallets? Great company ideas are born out of identifying and filling a community need. This can be as simple as assisting businesses in removing pallets from their warehouse, parking lot, or walkways, and then selling them to local wood pallet purchasers. It’s a fantastic opportunity to make money quickly while also helping the environment!
Recycling wood pallets for money is a terrific way to get started, whether you’re a knowledgeable entrepreneur looking for a company concept or simply weary of your 9-to-5 job and want to find a way to make some additional money as part of your exit strategy.
Wood Pallet Industry Statistics in the US
- Wood Pallet Industry Statistics in the US
- How Much Can You Sell a Pallet For?
- Where Can I Find Wood Pallets for Free?
- Can I Take Wood Pallets from Behind Stores for Free?
- Where Can I Sell My Wood Pallets Near me?
- What Do I Need To Start A Wood Pallet Selling Business?
Before you start to recycle wood pallets for money, you must get the overall picture of the United States wood pallet industry so that you can clearly understand the pros and cons. Here is a rundown of some important stats that will give you a complete picture of the in the US:
- There are currently around 2 billion pallets in use.
- In North America, the pallet market for both new and remanufactured pallets is estimated to be worth $17 billion.
- 476 million new pallets were built in 2011, with 474 million used pallets retrieved from landfills.
- 326 million of the 474 million pallets salvaged were reusable as pallets, while the other 148 million were repurposed wood pallets for other purposes.
- Out of every 100 pallets sold, 43 are recycled or recovered as wood pallets.
- The pallet recycling sector has exploded in popularity. Just 51 million wood pallets were recovered in 1992. By 2011, this figure had risen to 474 million pallets.
People continue to discard millions of pallets into landfills, as evidenced by these figures. This is both a problem and a possibility. Rather than complaining or contributing to the problem, you may convert it into an income-generating opportunity by figuring out a better way to handle used pallets. What could be better than recycling wood pallets for money by selling them to local wood pallet brokers?!
How Much Can You Sell a Pallet For?
It would be beneficial if you had a approximate idea of how much you could make per pallet so you could weigh your options and decide whether the money is worth your time and effort. Pallet pricing for recycled pallets range from $0.50 to $4 per pallet. But why is there such a price disparity?
When evaluating how much you may sell a pallet for, several factors come into play. The size, condition, and amount of wood pallets you have are the most important. All of these factors will influence how much local pallet buyers are willing to pay for your recycled wood pallets.
What are the wood pallet price factors?
- Condition: This is the most important factor in determining how much you are paid each pallet. Pallet recycling firms are mainly interested in (new) pallets in good shape that require minor repair for reuse. It will be worth more than its less-than-stellar peers. However, don’t be disheartened if you come across old pallets in poor condition; you can still profit from them despite their state. Many pallet recycling companies would gladly pay you a lesser price for pallets in poor condition. Wood pallets will be repurposed as mulch by recycling businesses.
- Size: Your pallet’s size is the second factor that will determine how much a pallet buyer will pay you. As you would expect, larger pallets in great condition will bring more money than smaller ones in similar conditions. In the US, the standard pallet size is 48″ x 40″ and weighs 37 pounds. The next most common are 42″ x 42″ and 48″ x 48″.
- The Amount of Pallets You Have: While the number of pallets you have may not affect your price per pallet, the overall number of pallets you have will affect the total payout you can expect. That is to say, the more pallets you have, the more money you will make. You can be sure to get a higher rate and increase your total earnings if you can find a lot of pallets in good condition. But, you may expect to make more money from a complete truck of pallets in poor condition than from a few in excellent condition. As a result, it’s a good bet to say that the more pallets you sell, the more money you’ll make.
Other elements to consider are where you live, the amount of pallet recycling companies in your area, and how much each pallet buyer is ready to pay; these will all influence the price paid per pallet.
If there are several local recycling companies where you reside, there will be a great demand for used pallets, and you will be able to get competitive prices. You’ll save money on petrol as well because you won’t have to travel vast distances to deliver your recyclables.
It’s a good idea to shop about and find a few clients that are prepared to pay a higher fee per pallet so that you can profit from your side hustle. This may take some time, but after you get into the swing of things and build a strong working relationship with a few wood pallet recycling firms, you’ll be able to estimate how much you can make per trip.
Shipping firms are more likely to pay you extra for new or in great condition pallets because you are helping them save nearly half their money by acquiring used recycled pallets rather than new ones.
Let’s imagine you get two fantastic clients who are willing to pay you $2 apiece for a good-condition pallet. If each one requests that you deliver 150 pallets per week, you will be paid $600 per week.
As long as you can keep your promise, provide a good service, and satisfy their weekly pallet demand, you can be sure to have a constant stream of income, up to $2,400 per month. And the good news is that reselling pallets runs on a cash basis. You will get your money immediately when you deliver them at your client’s specified location. Some consider it one of the greatest cash-paying under-the-table jobs.
You can expect greater independence and cash flow than most 9-to-5 occupations, where you must labor under the supervision of others and wait for payment! Recycling wood pallets for cash is a lucrative side job.
Where Can I Find Wood Pallets for Free?
There are numerous locations where you can obtain low-cost or free wood pallets. Pallets can be disposed of in a variety of locations. Businesses that deliver huge volumes of items or manufacture and sell vast numbers of products are suitable areas to look for pallets for recycling.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most typical sites to locate free or low-cost pallets:
- Plants for manufacturing or processing
- Retail outlets
- Hotels and restaurants
- Small businesses
- Cruise ship docks
- Trucking terminals
- Airfreight terminals
- Tire shops
- Construction sites
- Several people advertise on Craiglist.org to get their pallets picked up for free.
- Freecycle.org has a section on their website where you can sell and buy pallets.
There are even companies that offer their shipping pallets away. Pallets can be dropped off at Walmart, Tractor Supply, The Home Depot, and Lowes, among other places.
Most of these companies don’t have adequate storage capacity to store unsold pallets, and it’s not uncommon to find idle and unused pallets on their property. As a result, they’ll be overjoyed to have someone get rid of them for free. Simply approach the owner or manager and propose that they be removed for free.
You can even make further arrangements with the business owner for wood pallet removal weekly or monthly. Some businesses, especially those with bulk quantities occupying space in their warehouse, may even be glad to pay you to the wood pallets.
Can I Take Wood Pallets from Behind Stores for Free?
The best response is to inquire first.
If you observe pallets lying idle behind stores or businesses, presume they are not free and contact the owner. While some businesses will give you their pallets for free, others may sell them or have someone dispose of them on their behalf.
But the fact is, most businesses want someone to remove their pallets. You can try negotiating a fair deal from pallet owners who dispose of them at a price if you schedule regular pickups. Negotiation is a terrific survival tip when trying to make money.
Where Can I Sell My Wood Pallets Near me?
Thus far, you’ve learned that wood pallets can be recycled for cash. However, you might be wondering, “Where can I sell my wood pallets in my area?” The good news is that, depending on where you reside, there are various locations where you can sell your repurposed pallets and make a nice profit.
Here are some of the best places to sell your wood pallets.
Craigslist is one of the top places to resell recycled products. If you navigate to the Buy & Sell section, you will find ads from people willing to sell or buy pallets. If you can’t find a buyer right away, you can also place your own ad to find buyers for your recycled wood pallets. The good news is that it’s free to place an ad on Craigslist in most cities. It’s also a good place to buy cheap wood pallets potentially. Don’t forget to read our article on the Other good locations for free items include Craigslist..
2. Local Manufacturers
Check with your local manufacturing enterprises to see if they need any before looking for a market for your recycled wood pallets elsewhere. The easiest way to contact them is to go to their offices or call them. Determine how much the manufacturers are willing to pay for used pallets by negotiating with them.
3. Kamps Pallet
With over 45 years of experience in the industry, is one of the best pallet brokers and recyclers. They have locations in most major cities, but you can also sell pallets online and have them picked up and hauled away by Kamps Pallet. The cost of a haul away service will be determined by your location and volume. Any of your recycled wood pallets that can be restored and resold will be paid a reasonable price by Kamps.
4. National Wooden Pallet Container and Association
The National Wooden Pallet Container and Association is a pallet broker that maintains a directory of companies that buy and sell wooden pallets on its website. Through , you can search for pallet buyers near you interested in purchasing wooden pallets.
5. North American Pallet Recycling Network
Another pallet broker is North American Pallet Recycling Network, which operates a recycling network across the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. It’s a marketplace that connects pallet generators with recyclers in order to promote pallet recycling. It’s a terrific location to go if you’re looking to sell some recycled pallets.
6. Atlantic Pallet Exchange
Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi all have locations. The most common pallet sizes are accepted and purchased. Atlantic Pallet Exchange may also be interested in purchasing unusual or unique pallets from you, or simply recycling them as a service. If you live in one of the seven states, it’s a terrific spot to make money selling repurposed wooden pallets.
Whether you want to find buyers or find places to pick up pallets for free, is an excellent place for you. They have a specific section on their website for wood pallet buyers and sellers.
8. Local pallet delivery companies
Although you may not make much money, selling to local pallet firms may be a good idea, especially if you have surplus inventory. The white pages or the local phone book can help you quickly find local pallet delivery companies in your area. Moreover, a simple Google search for local pallet delivery firms + your zip code will return results in your area. Wood pallet recyclers prefer to sell to these businesses since it saves them time and money.
9. Woodworking or furniture school
Wood pallets will be required for teaching and learning in woodworking or furniture schools. As a result, they’re good sites to sell your salvaged pallets. To find woodworking or furniture-making programs in your area, look through local technical college listings.
How much do wood pallets cost?
The cost of a used pallet varies depending on its size, condition, location, and number. Depending on the size and condition of the pallet, you can expect to make anywhere from $0.5 to $4 per pallet. Clean, well-maintained pallets sell faster than pallets in poor condition.
According to , new pallet prices may range anywhere from $11.25 to $25. For example, the price range for a new 48-by-40-inches GMA pallet is $11.25 to $12.50, but heavier-duty block-style pallets cost $25 or more.
How to recover broken pallets?
The pallet recovery industry has been a long way coming. In 2011, 474 million pallets were recovered. Compare that to only recovered in 1992, and you can see the change. Companies have been throwing away a considerable number of pallets in landfills.
What is the best way to recover broken pallets?
- Repair and reuse your own items.
- Pallet brokers specialize in repairing and repurposing broken pallets, so sell them to them.
Broken pallets can be recovered in a variety of ways as the recycling industry becomes more efficient. These are some examples of how the 474 million pallets rescued in 2011 were put to good use.
- Only 11.9% of the items were reused with no repairs, whereas 68.5% were restored and reused. That means businesses have lost a lot of money by discarding them! Businesses may have saved tens of millions of dollars.
- 16.2% of the pallets were demolished and utilized to make new pallets or as repair lumber.
- 3.1% of the total was chipped and ground for various purposes. 55% is used to manufacture colorful and uncolored mulch, 10% is used to make animal bedding, 30% is used to make waste to energy products, and 6% is reused for other purposes.
- 0.3% was diverted to other uses.
It implies there’s money to be made in broken pallets and businesses learning how to stop wasting money. A savvy entrepreneur can recycle wood pallets for money by refusing to take the easy way out. They can simply learn how to recover broken pallets or sell pallets to local pallet recycling companies.
What Do I Need To Start A Wood Pallet Selling Business?
While you may be eager to begin selling pallets, there may be some initial expenditures. You won’t be able to hand pick up wood pallets and walk to a recycler, therefore you’ll need a vehicle.
Another item to consider is your financial situation. You might not be able to fit a lot of pallets in the trunk of a small car. As a result, owning a vehicle and trailer is your best bet for starting a profitable side business selling wooden pallets.
Before making a large investment, make sure you perform the appropriate calculations and acquire a sense of your local market.
A pair of tough gloves and some tools are among the other stuff you’ll need to purchase. If you try to transport wooden pallets with your own hands, you could potentially damage yourself. Aside from that, broken pallets may be readily repaired with a few simple tools like nails and drills, ensuring that you obtain a better price for them when you sell them.
Once you have your equipment and tools, make sure you use them properly to keep them in good shape. The two most critical components of the business are knowing where to find pallets and where to sell them.
Learn how to repair a broken pallet DIY
Sometimes, you may come across some broken pallets that you may need to repair before you can resell them. With the right tools, you can do it yourself to increase their resale value. will take you through a step by step process on how to repair broken pallets.
Can I throw a pallet into a dumpster?
Pallets should not be thrown in a dumpster for a variety of reasons, including:
- Environmentally unfriendly: Disposing of discarded pallets is hazardous to the environment because it might lead to landfills.
- Handling broken pallets might result in possible injury, particularly to personnel or youngsters.
- You’ll have to shatter and fit them into a bin or roll-off dumpster, which is inefficient. Because you’ll have to abandon your regular duties to do all of this, you’ll lose productivity.
- Loss of Money: It’s expensive. It may cost up to $200 to pick up and remove 10-20 pallets in a large dumpster rental, which is way more compared to $3 per pallet when you use a pallet collection service like .
How can I get rid of wood pallets for free?
You may be unable to sell some or perhaps all of your pallets for various reasons, particularly if they are broken. So, what happens if you have a truckload of pallets that you can’t sell? In such a circumstance, you may determine that getting rid of your wooden pallets for free is the best option. The most efficient method is to use a haul-away service.
Below are a few pallet manufacturers who offer pickup services for pallets that are no longer useable.
You can also contact trash and recycling companies to arrange for a pickup. Waste Management is a good example of a company that offers pallet removal at some location. They have locations in 48 states, and you can always.
That concludes the discussion. As you can see, recycling wood pallets for money is doable without a large initial expenditure. It’s a fantastic method to start a recycling company with minimal risk.
With a pickup vehicle or a utility trailer, it’s an great side job. Why not give this side hustle a shot and see how it goes for you? You can save, invest, or utilize the money to pay off obligations, in addition to earning some more cash on the side. You’ll also have the freedom of being your own boss while maintaining a zero-waste environment.