In addition to being cost-effective, Greenway’s recycled pallets are an environmentally conscious solution for your material handling and shipping operations.

Greenway cares about the environment, saving trees, minimizing land fill waste, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. In 2019, we recycled 6 million pallets. In addition to saving money for our customers, we helped save our planet for all of us. By recycling 6 million pallets, we saved over  300 thousand trees, saved over 120 thousand tons of waste from filling up landfills, and prevented nearly 165 thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 100% of all Greenway materials have been either reused, re-manufactured, or when no longer strong enough, made into mulch.

In recent years, sustainability has become less of a trendy buzzword and more of an expectation in an increasing number of business and industrial sectors. The pallet industry remains one of the leaders in this push toward sustainability, as the vast majority of wooden shipping pallets are recycled at various stages and for a number of purposes.

A 2018 Virginia Tech research project investigating the disposal of pallets at landfill sites showed that 95 percent of wooden pallets were recycled rather than being discarded into landfills. The project tracked landfill avoidance at both municipal and solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition (C&D) landfills, and discovered that not only were significantly fewer wooden pallets arriving at these landfill facilities to begin with, but the vast majority of those pallets that did arrive were able to be recovered for recycling by the facility.

Greenway recycles 6 million pallets / year

    Greenway Moves Pallets.
No pallets go to landfills

There exists plenty of incentive to recycle pallets, both for the sake of environmental responsibility and from a cost-saving perspective. Many used pallets can be reused as-is, or repaired for future use. Slightly more worn pallets often still have strong pieces of lumber that can be put toward repairing pallets or building new ones. Once a pallet has reached the end of its useful life, a wood chipper can transform its materials into mulch, animal bedding, or bio-fuels. Additionally, there is a small but growing number of DIYers and crafters who repurpose and “upcycle” pallet wood for household projects. In almost any state of repair, a wooden pallet has more value to the companies that use them when recycled rather than discarded as trash.

It’s easiest for retailers and other companies who receive shipments of merchandise on pallets to recycle those pallets if there is a local company that deals in pallet recycling or mulching. Some companies have repair crews to fix damaged pallets internally, but not every business has the manpower available for the task. That’s why recycling efforts at landfill sites are also important, and the Virginia Tech research project showed that both types of landfill facilities have made great strides in improving their pallet and wood recovery efforts in the past twenty years. Municipal and solid waste (MSW) facilities recycle 62 percent of the pallets they receive, up from only 33 percent two decades ago, while construction and demolition (C&D) facilities have improved their recycling efforts in the same period from 27 percent to 45 percent.

By recycling over 6 million pallets in 2019, Greenway saved:

tons of land fill waste
metric tons of CO2 emissions

Through a combination of companies throwing away fewer pallets in the first place, and landfill facilities separating out and recycling greater numbers of the pallets they receive, the overall number of pallets entering landfills has dropped from 178.5 million to only 25 million. When taken in tandem with the number of pallets being produced each year, it’s clear how dramatic a difference the efforts taken to recycle wooden pallets have made. In 2016, it’s estimated that 508 million new wooden pallets were manufactured. If 25 million of those ended up in landfills instead of ending their useful lives as wood chips, mulch, or craft projects, that’s a recycling rate of over 95 percent.

Is a zero-waste future possible for the pallet industry? In theory, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be; wood pallets are 100 percent recyclable, with many possible ways to recycle damaged pallet lumber into materials such as mulch or wood chips. Achieving zero waste requires the commitment of companies at every stage of use, from pallet manufacturing and recycling companies to the businesses that use pallets to transport their goods, to the waste disposal companies that receive discarded pallets. In light of recent trends, however, zero waste seems increasingly achievable. Greenway is setting a high bar for the rest of the industry, having sent no pallets to landfills over the last year.

Greenway Products & Services, LLC is the largest pallet remanufacturer and recyclers in NY, NJ, PA, MD,and DE. We also accept scrap wood and landscaping debris from our customers that we turn into valuable resources. Greenway is a highly rated, full-service pallet management company. Contact us for a quote today. Visit our website, or call us at 732-442-0200. We can deliver trailers to you on a moment’s notice throughout the TNY-NJ-PA-MD-DE area.