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Why Your Business Needs An
Official Pallet Disposal Programme


For any business that deals with logistics, pallets can be both a blessing and a nightmare. The most brilliant inventions are often the simplest, and the humble wooden pallet has remained unchanged for nearly a century now, proving it has the staying power.

What has not been so genius is the process by which used, broken, surplus or unwanted pallets are dealt with.

image of broken pallets


Space and time = money in our industry, so the last thing you need is a stack of pallets and no plan of how to clear them from your site. Having unwanted pallets lying around for even a day can have some seriously negative consequences for your business too:

  • H&S issues
  • Taking up too much space
  • Arson risks
  • Staff having to take time to move stacks of empty pallets instead of productive work

But there is a solution. If you don’t already have an official Pallet Disposal Programme, you need to get one written up asap. Business today is tough, and making efficient process decisions could be vital to thriving. The great news is, you don’t even have to invest much time or money to get one set up! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about a few strategies which you may or may not use now and discuss their efficacy. (of course if you’re sold on the concept already, skip down to the bottom and give us a call)


Here’s what not to do

Don’t: Pay for skips to come to you and collect your unwanted pallets.

Because: Skips are expensive – why pay for a skip to collect pallets when you could be paid for your pallets? In addition, the number of pallets you can fit in a skip is pitiful, you’re paying per skip and over 50% of the contents of that skip are air! Skips also tend to go straight to landfill, this is terrible news when the typical wooden pallet can be reused time and time again – and when it’s parts absolutely can’t be reused – it can be recycled into animal bedding, biofuel or used to create MDF boards.

Bottom line: Skips are not economically sound for your business, they’re not eco-friendly for the environment, they’re not a fast or efficient solution and you will be paying for the removal of your unwanted pallets.


Don’t: Use a ‘man with a van’ every time the pallets stack up.

Because: Your typical ‘man with a van’ isn’t even a registered company, you’ll pay them a little to clear your site, have no invoice to show for it and no proof of responsible disposal. Let’s say, for example, your ‘man with a van’ drops by, clears your pallets – there will be no traceability and the likelihood is that this wood waste may be dumped at the side of the road, or on land whose owner makes it their mission to trace where the waste came from.

Bottom line: Just don’t do it, not even just that one time when nobody else could pick up.


Don’t: Let DIY crafters pick up a pallet or two.

Because: We know pallet furniture and pallet art is quite trendy these days, Universal Pallets actually sell a lot of refurbished pallets to hobbyists, but there are VERY good reasons for not giving away your unwanted pallets to the public. Just as there are risks inviting your ‘man with a van’ onto your site, there are big risks in allowing the public onto your site, especially when it comes to letting them fish around in your pile of unwanted broken pallets! All it takes is a stumble and a rusty nail and you’re in a world of trouble! And if you’re thinking, well we might just pile up the pallets outside the fence with a ‘Free To Good Home’ sign on them, think again. As soon as you do this, you’re technically fly tipping on council property, causing an obstruction and posing a health risk. Plus if someone picks up one of your pallets to use as firewood and the pallet has had chemicals sprayed or spilled on it, you could be liable for the results.

Bottom line: As with the ‘man with a van’, just don’t do it, the potential risks to your business are just not worth it.


Don’t: Use a pallet pickup company who are unreliable or fussy.

Because: So what if you’re not committing one of the three biggest pallet-pickup offences above, but your pallet pick-up company aren’t exactly great either. Well firstly, well done for having made a positive decision already – but it’s time to reevaluate your processes now. You should be using a company that is reliable so that you don’t have these temporary discarded pallet problems half of the time. You should have a company to partner with who can pick up quickly, are happy to pick up small numbers to keep your site clear, who will pick up any type of pallets (not just the most valuable for them) and who will happily collect broken pallets and other scrap wood. Sorting out your pallet disposal programme is all about efficiency. And you should be provided with proper documentation showing what has been collected, where it’s going and when it’s going for your records to prove you’re handling your waste in a responsible way.

Bottom line: The service exists, so what are you waiting for? Even the chargeable wood waste removal service is likely to be cheaper than skips


Here’s what we can offer

We don’t just sell pallets, we offer the best pallet service in the UK, that’s why we’ve been going strong for 40 years and many customers have been with us for those 40 years. We’re continually striving to innovate and disrupt the industry and we’re known for our fantastic service.

Our top 10 reasons to set up your pallet disposal programme with Universal Pallets;

  1. We have a solution for all pallet problems -whether you have good pallets that deserve a decent rebate or whether you need our wood waste disposal service for the scrap that no one else will take (nearly always cheaper than skips!)  
  2. We reuse and recycle every pallet that can’t be sent out right away.
  3. We typically pick up within 24-48 hours UK-wide thanks to an extensive delivery/pickup network.
  4. We can provide cradle-to-grave paperwork and are fully accredited with the Environment Agency
  5. We work exclusively with fully certified wood recycling operations.
  6. We pay you for good pallets – and usually more than everyone else!
  7. Our staff are well-trained and between them have many decades of pallet experience.
  8. We have a fuel-efficient pickup / dropoff network of trucks meaning your pickup will be slotted into our usual route, and so, less negative impact on the environment.
  9. We hold certifications from Palletlink, RHA and NAPD in addition to our accreditations from CHAS and the Environment Agency.
  10. You’ll always have a Universal Pallets company director one-point contact, simply pick up the phone to Rachel or Tom. Alternatively, pop onto our website and order your pallets online!


A pallet collections case study

A pharmaceutical company had the following challenges;

  • Several sites spread across the UK
  • All sites had different pallet issues and methods of disposal
  • Different pallet types required at different sites
  • Lack of accurate paper-trail or reporting
  • Poor quality pallets were being discarded creating a waste problem

Universal Pallets® solution –  ‘Cradle to Grave’ service;

  • We visited each site to fully understand the requirements
  • We created a nationwide clearance project to remove scrap/broken pallets
  • Established an email/call system for collection and delivery
  • Provided fully recorded and assessed service leading to
    • Full monthly reporting
    • One-point director level contact
    • Monthly invoicing
    • Waste transfer documentation

Universal Pallets® have made our job easier overall, through efficient planning and providing a nationwide service to meet our needs. We would definitely recommend them.”


Get in touch now

Whatever your pallet problems are, however challenging, our team always aim to exceed your expectations. So why not get in touch and see what a pallet disposal programme provided by Universal Pallets could offer you.

You can contact Rachel Hardcastle or Tom Hardcastle, Universal Pallets directors, by Clicking Here – or call directly on 0161 223 4427 / 07776 188974. You can also contact us by email at

Click here to download our Pallet Collections brochure.

Get In Touch

If you would like to discuss your needs with us, please use the following contact details or send us a message via the contact form.

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