NFDC Drids


Demolition Refurbishment Information Data Sheets

K3 Pallets

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Pallets Packaging 15 01 03

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Pallets are made in various shapes and sizes depending on the products being transported. They are commonly made from softwoods, plastic and occasionally plywood, although some are tailor made from good quality timbers. They may also include polythene, shrink wrap or cardboard packaging. Pallets are rarely treated or painted other than sprayed paint markings. Some may be contaminated from their former contents.

Waste Streams     


The demolition industry is committed to ensuring that the most efficient and environmentally friendly waste stream is chosen for your demolition arisings. Please hover the disposal routes to view the waste options available for this material.

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Reclaim & Reuse

Pallets that are in good condition, clean, uncontaminated, made from good quality materials, of a usable size and of value may be set aside for collection and reuse. Blue and plastic pallets have the most reuse value.

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Pallets can be recycled where it is not contaminated and where there is a market opportunity for the materials to be used as feedstock in new products, not necessarily for construction.

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Pallets can be segregated from other materials and sent to an incinerator for energy recovery. Timber pallets not contaminated with oils, paints or preservatives may be chipped or composted.

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The landfilling of pallets may be the only option where the material is contaminated.

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Usage & Probable Locations

Pallets are used to pack, transport and store goods and materials. They may have been left on site by the former occupants, found in the store rooms of buildings being demolished or delivered to refurbishment sites where new materials or products are required. Spare parts for plant and equipment may also be delivered to site on pallets and are frequently non-returnable. Blue and plastic pallets have most reuse value.

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE requirements indicated are for guidance purposes only. DRIDS has identified the PPE that is mandatory on all demolition projects and ones that may be required subject to site specific Risk Assessment & Method Statement (RAMS). Hover over the icon to determine the types of PPE required for the removal of this material.

Removal, Segregation & Storage

Depending on the quality, size and condition of the pallets, will determine if it is to be segregated and stored. Pallets rarely have any fixtures or fittings, but may include the occasional loose nail. Pallets in good condition and a usable size may have a reuse value, especially if there is a large number of similar size. An outlet for their reuse should be arranged before they are segregated and stored either inside or outside. They should be stored away from plant movements to prevent breakage or splash damage. Pallets destined for recycling or recovery should be segregated from other materials in a timber or plastic only skip. Pallets destined for landfill can be placed in the mixed waste skip.


Hammer, nailbar, crowbar.

Fixtures, Fittings & Connections

Pallets are commonly manufactured from unplanned timbers and timber sheets using nails, staples, metal stitch plates or corrugated fasteners. Pallets may also be used to form the base of a crate and may include hinges, bolts and hasps and staples for security. Some pallets may be painted or preserved but this is rare. Some may be fitted with polystyrene, foam, plastic or cardboard packing to protect the products being transported. These should be removed before sending the pallets for reuse, recycling or recovery.

Health & Safety

Subject to task-specific Risk Assessment & Method Statement (RAMS). Use correct protective equipment for removing fixings, especially nails and staples. Wear gloves when handling unplanned pallets which may have damaged edges or coated in preservatives to prevent irritation, cuts and splinters. Wear eye protection when removing fixtures, fixings and connections. Wear a face mask when removing packaging materials and sweeping up dust.

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