A Few Guidelines for Collecting Pallets

After reading some of the comments on my videos and Flickr, I thought it might be helpful if I shared my five rules to make it easier for you to obtain the basic materials for these or any other projects you may have in hand.

Five Simple Rules


My first big pallet project was also a gift - a Birthday Present!

Firstly, and most importantly, I only ever take pallets which are of untreated wood - any signs of discolouration due to paint or chemical treatment render them unsuitable.

Secondly, I always ask if I may have the pallets - this obviously is when the pallet is on the premises of an enterprise or site.

Thirdly, if you do take pallets from a site - leave the area better than you found it. Apart from being courteous, you may want to come back for more and should leave the impression that recyclers  ought to be welcomed. More often than not, after your first couple of visits, the proprietor or foreman will tell you to take the pallets without needing to ask. In my experience, from then on the company will often start saving and putting out pallets specifically for you.

Fourthly, safety - wear thick gloves, as pallet wood is sawn and splinters are a pain. Often pallets are discarded because they are broken (by mishandling with forktruck forks or rough handling) this may expose nail points and sharp pieces of broken timber to unprotected pinkies. Also watch out for mis-nailed pieces, where the staples or nails have not been driven straight into the wood and the points stick out from the pallet sides. Building and construction sites are often great for heavy duty untreated pallet wood, it may be well worth investing a couple of euros/dollars/pounds etc., to get yourself equipped with a hard hat, often required for access to a site.

Fifthly, transport - it goes without saying that to bring your booty home ensure that your pallets are properly loaded into or onto your car or trailer and that the properly secured load can not affect you or other road users.

Recycled window and pallet wood window box.

Remember, you are often doing these businesses a favour in taking away rubbish from their forecourt or carparks. Many realise this is so and welcome your visit. With the recuperated windows and doors used in our house and in the construction of the large Greenhouse, the source was a joinery firm - now specialising in replacement double glazing. The Enlightened Proprietor welcomed us with opened arms, as people willing to give a second life to perfectly sound single and double glazed units, which would otherwise have been burned!

Our Poultry are obsessed with DIY and FOOD!

Here is an example of a reasonably easy but professional looking project for reusing pallet wood.

There are also further details on this design and more information within this blog: http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2011/11/is-for-apple-house-diy-green-gifts.html

All the best and thanks for dropping by.

Cheers, Andy

© Andy Colley 2014


  1. Great info on pallets! Thanks for sharing with those of us who didn't know!

    1. Thanks for watching and commenting. Happy pallet hunting!
      If you would like to see the things we've made check out my Youtube site.

      Best Wishes, Andy.

  2. Agricultural suppliers are a good source, most products are delivered on pallets and then broken up for sale to farmers. I use them to build raised platforms for my poly tunnel, compost bins for my dry loo waste and, horror, kindling for the fire.

    1. Sounds like you've a good source there. One of my sources makes displays for exhibitions and their pallets are HUGE (3.5m x 4m) and of course non-treated. I have to strip them down into component planks before I can get them onto the roof rack!

      I'll be doing a post in the next few days on our pallet wood dry toilet. If you want to see the films they're already on my Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Organikmechanic

      We have a wood-burning cooker and use the offcuts and damaged pallet wood as fuel, this also heats the house, resulting in a monthly consumption of electricity of around 80 kWh (roughly 6.5 Euros per month).

      Not bad for using someone else's waste!

      Thanks for commenting,
      Regards, Andy

  3. Awesome. Great article, very helpful information, and a lovely nature vibe!

  4. I am curious if u have any good tips for taking them apart. Great article, My poor hubby will thank u if theres a quick way, we have to take them apart before moving them :)

    1. Hi Sam,
      Yes I have three ways of taking pallets apart and there is a detailed post on it here - http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2014/10/how-to-dismantle-pallets-to-obtain-free.html#.Vj-Qjl7Snet and also a film included. All the very best and Happy Pallet Hunting! Andy