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Re: Pallet Use/Re-Use

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At 02:36 PM 3/24/97 -0500, helen_jervey@ccmail.rustei.com wrote:
>Thank you for all the responses.  I am reading through them and plan to report 
>back on what we decide.   Someone suggested searching the P2 tech archives.
>does one do that?  (help)
>We are located near Charleston, S.C. 
>______________________________ Reply Separator
>Subject: Pallet Use/Re-Use
>Author:  <p2tech@great-lakes.net> at internet
>Date:    3/22/97 9:32 AM
>    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 
>    yearly?
>        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)       
Lisa C. Morrison				217/244-6061 (v)
Technical / Information Specialist		217/333-8944 (f)
IL Waste Management and Research Cnt.	morrison@wmrc.hazard.uiuc.edu
One East Hazelwood Dr.			Champaign, Illinois 61820