[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
- Subject: Pallet Use/Re-Use
- From: "Richard Illig (717) 327-3568" <ILLIG.RICHARD@a1.pader.gov>
- Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 09:32:25 -0500 (EST)
- Posting-Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 10:38:00 -0500 (EST)
- Reply-To: email@example.com
- Sensitivity: Company-Confidential
- Ua-Content-Id: D72ZWTMF7RU7
One & All,
I've been trying to stay on the sideline for this issue, but the
temptation is too strong.
I strongly agree with the writer that suggested there is no one
solution that will work for every situation, and that companies
need to be innovative and perhaps change strategies from time to
time as markets come and go. However, more permanent solutions
often are developed by way of a cooperative effort.
1) Is this pallet problem limited to only one company in the
area? What are other companies doing with their pallets? Whoever
suggested giving or marketing the pallets to other local
companies, or at least check-out their management method, was on
the money! The point being, TALK TO OTHER AREA INDUSTRIES. It is
one sign of a healthy environmental management system.
2) If the problem is a large one, surely the potential cost of
landfilling pallets (thanks to the individual who cast a light on
disposal pallet weight and disposal costs) could, in a few years,
justify the purchase of a wood grinder (with magnetic separator
for nails). Ground pallets could be used for mulch at your
facility. Does your facility pay an outside company to landscape
Provided you cannot use all the mulch, what about local
nurseries, composting operations, landscapers, residential users,
or go whole hog and try to develop the material into another
product...one company took several wastes (to create a blend)
including cardboard, and manure and composted it themselves
(luckily this can be done in Pa. without a permit in many cases).
The resulting material was marketed to residential users, Scotts
Hyponex, and anyone else who wanted a truckload for gardens, etc.
Perhaps teaming with other industries (especially food
processors), a local farmer or two, and/or a municipality may work
to the benefit of all parties concerned including local residents.
The potential for incorporation of sewage sludge in such a mix
also presents excellent possibilities, especially if the sewage
suldge is currently being landfilled.
If local laws do not allow, or make permitting these
operations difficult, it may be time to get a group together and
loby for regulatory changes when it comes to beneficial use of
waste. Most politicians will jump on the opportunity to back an
environmentally friendly, high publicity issue. If your state has
a P2 office, enlist their support for regulatory change.
3) Try working with the landfill, local and state government
recycling programs, and other companies to develop composting at
the landfill for source separated compostable materials. The more
parties that get involved will dilute cost factors. The landfill
may still have to charge but I'd bet the cost of disposal may be
cut in half. Government programs often will throw a lot of grant
money at recycling programs. The landfill permit should be able
to be modified without too much problem to incorporate the
composting operation...some areas even require local landfills to
compost yard waste and will not allow disposal of loads consisting
primarily of leaf waste. Most landfills have an almost unlimited
need for landscaping material (mulch) and benefits by diverting
compostable materials to reuse rather than occupy disposal space.
As an example, our local landfill invested in a huge mobile
grinder. They charge a reduced rate for source separated virgin
wood materials. The grinder, when not in operation at the
facility, is used by local municipalities to grind yard waste at
local collection areas. Municipalities use the mulch for parks,
athletic fields, and give it away to residents. The landfill is
not composting currently, but I think they are exploring the
potential of diverting other materials for this purpose. The
competing use, is a nearby wood-only co-generation plant. (I
know, it is a real luxury to have available, especially if you can
grind your own wood.) Also, the landfill (or maybe I should say
the County that operates the landfill) rents the grinder out for
private use at some very reasonable rates, provided you have a
large volume of wood needing ground.
My point is, if you have a problem, you can bet the problem is
more wide-spread and others probably need help. If not the case,
you DO have a problem which may run deeper than just pallets.
There may be no dirt cheap solution.
(Sorry for rambling)