Monthly Archives: April 2016

Why Companies Are Switching to Metal Pallets

Mention the word pallet, and the image that most comes to mind is a wooden flatbed, of sorts, on a warehouse floor. A pallet is a structural foundation used to hold and ship large bundles of items, and it comes in a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, and metal. It is an essential link in the global supply chain. 

By 2017, it is estimated there will be almost 10 million shipping pallets in global circulation. Needless to say, the material used to construct the pallets and how often they are reused will have an enormous impact on budgets, the environment and the needs of many industries.  

Metal pallets are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel. They are the strongest and most durable pallets on the market. They are heavier than wood pallets and usually have a higher initial cost. They meet USDA and FDA cleanliness standards and are part of the growing green business trends.  

Why Metal?

In a time of economic and environmentally conscious awareness metal or aluminum, pallets are the perfect solution for warehouse and shipping needs. They offer an excellent alternative to the traditional wood or plastic options, and they are a better return on your investment.

Usage of metal pallets has significantly increased over recent years, especially in industries requiring transportation of heavy goods. Catering businesses are also participating in these green business trends due to easy sanitation. Some benefits of metal pallets are:

  • Weather resistant and do not warp or rot
  • They are fire resistant
  • They are stronger
  • Reusable indefinitely
  • Maintenance free
  • Easily sanitized and appropriate for food and chemical industries 
  • Improved sustainability with no performance constraints
  • No insect infestation
  • Lower costs over their lifetime
  • Longer lifespan
  • Withstand extremes in temperatures
  • Do not splinter like wood pallets

Environmental Impact

From an economic point of view, the lifecycle of cleaning, disinfecting, durability, and recyclability, these cost less than wood or plastic pallets.

  • Metal pallets have a positive environmental impact because they last longer than pallets made from other materials.
  • They are stronger and can transport or store larger amounts of a product, so the number of pallets needed is less, which ultimately means fewer to dispose of. 
  • More product can be shipped on the metal pallet, so transportation is less frequent, and vehicle emissions are lowered and air quality is improved. Your carbon footprint is reduced. 
  • Metal pallets have a lifespan of around 15 years, and they are extremely durable, whereas wood pallets, for example, are used for a short period of time before being discarded in a landfill. 
  • They are 100% recyclable. 
  • They can be sold to scrap metal dealers at the end of their lifecycle. 

Economic Impact 

  • The most significant economic impact on a company using metal pallets is the ability to reuse the pallets, therefore, reducing procurement of new pallets. 
  • Metal pallets can be adjusted for size, so it is unnecessary to purchase different sizes. 
  • Freight costs are reduced because of the durability of the pallets and the increased return load density.
  • Insurance premiums are lowered because metal pallets are fireproof. 
  • Less money is spent on repairing broken pallets and disposing of metal pallets.
  • They withstand extremes in temperatures so do not need special climatizing.  
  • There is no costly heat treatment or certification. 
  • Electrical costs are reduced because of metal conduction.
  • Protect inventory from damage.

Sanitation & Safety 

Sanitation is one of the main reasons metal pallets have become so popular in several industries. Wood pallets are less hygienic and absorb moisture, harboring germs. Plastic pallets harbor bacteria in scratches, which can be costly to sterilize. 

  • Has a smooth and polished surface which is dirt and bacteria resistant.
  • Use hot water and detergent to clean. 
  • Is corrosion resistant. 
  • Has visible parts and no cracks to hold debris. 
  • Seldom breaks and is easy to repair. 
  • Easy to decontaminate. 
  • Fire resistant,  so there is less risk of fires. 

Final Thoughts

When you walk into any warehouse, manufacturing, or retail facility, it is hard to miss the pallets strewn around. This simple piece of warehouse equipment attracts a lot of attention, and often for the wrong reasons, such as broken pallets and spoiled inventory. 

Many companies are introducing metal pallets an alternative to wood or plastic options because of the improved impact on their bottom line, as well as environmental and safety improvements. The characteristics that shippers prioritize will ultimately dictate pallet preference. Certain industries may favor one type of pallet material over another. 

With so many pallet options to consider, diligent shippers, warehouse management, and other industries can find the best match for their organization to help keep their company operating efficiently and economically. In the long run, following green business trends will not only cut costs, but cut waste as well!   

The Different Types of Pallet Trucks

Pallet trucks are generally the workhorse in any warehouse. Some of our tips for warehouse workers will help run the facility more efficiently. Save time and money by determining which types of pallet trucks will best fit your business needs.

Hand Pallet Truck

Although a hand truck is very basic, it is certainly a useful piece of equipment. Controlled manually, a hand pallet truck carries heavy loads from one location to another with a minimum of human effort. A hand pallet truck’s forks are placed under the item being moved, with the jack then lifting the object. The operator navigates the truck by the handle to transport the item to its new location. 

Various models provide assistance for making any moving job easier. Low profile trucks are helpful for moving very low pallets or crates, and trucks with longer forks are perfect for handling much longer items. An assortment of weight capabilities also exists for moving regular-sized to heavier loads.

Hand trucks are very convenient since they are small and lightweight. They can easily fit in the back of a pick-up truck or box van, and are perfect for use in tight spaces where lift height is not essential.

High Lift Truck

These types of pallet trucks are constructed to lift pallets to a practical and safe working height. This enables employees to handle items without needing to constantly bend and lift the items from floor level. High lift trucks can help alleviate or reduce muscular discomfort or injuries to employees on the job. They can also provide enormous assistance to workers on assembly lines and packing processors. 

Weighing Scale Truck

A scale on this pallet truck indicates the weight of the items being moved. This function is helpful in numerous situations, permitting objects to be weighed whenever required. A useful piece of equipment for busy factory floors and loading bays, this pallet truck fulfills a very specific function. 

Manual Stacker

This piece of equipment differs from a pallet truck since it takes functionality further by providing moving pallets, along with lift assistance. Since manual stackers make lifting much easier, they can be considered a less expensive option to a forklift. Their smaller size makes this device ideal to use in size-limited warehouses or loading areas where they are needed to lift items onto vehicles or into pallet stacking for off-ground storage.

Electric Walk Behind

This piece of equipment is the battery-powered form of the hand pallet truck. It is a small machine, approximately double the size of a hand pallet truck, with lifting ability of typically 4,500 pounds to 6,000 pounds.

The advantage of using an electric walk behind truck is the mechanical support for raising and driving the truck. By pressing a button, the operator can raise and lower a load, as the machine contains a drive wheel to assist in transferring the load. There is no need for the operator to pull the load and machine, or to pump the handle manually to lift the weight.

Either an onboard battery pack or industrial battery provides power to this truck. Disadvantages, however, are batteries need regular recharging, and the machine consists of more moving parts, which require more maintenance than the manual truck.  

Rider Pallet Truck

This machine is an electric walk behind with the added feature of a riding platform. As opposed to having to walk behind the truck, the operator steps onto a platform on the pallet truck and rides along. This feature allows the rider pallet truck a better range for moving loads longer distances. It is also battery-powered with an onboard industrial battery.

Disadvantages to using a rider pallet truck are that it has an awkward posture and exposes the operator to possible hazards. Since this machine weighs several thousand pounds, it can easily cause damage to adjacent structures or cause injury. These trucks are very popular and used on a daily basis, but they can be dangerous machines due to the way the operator is situated and exposed on the end of the machine.

Center Rider

This pallet truck is built similar to the rider pallet truck, but has the extra benefit of being safer to use and is better ergonomically designed. It allows the operator to look completely forward or backward instead of sideways as on a regular rider pallet truck. It is a much better machine for traveling longer and mainly straight distances. Since it can be slightly tougher to turn than a rider pallet truck, it operates better in areas where the operator mostly drives in a straight line.

Counterbalanced Walker Stacker

The jack on this machine is able to reach up to eight feet off the ground. All other pallet trucks mentioned have lift capabilities of not more than approximately eight inches. This stacker runs electrically, and contains a substantial chassis and lifting pole. It prevents tipping over by use of the counterweight of the industrial battery, equipment elements, and steel construction.

Some tips for warehouse workers – stacker machines are smaller and more economical than ride-on counterbalanced forklifts. It is a terrific choice for lifting pallets onto racks or moving machines in areas such as small storerooms and machine shops.

Walker Straddle Stacker

Very similar to the counterbalanced stacker, this machine is equipped with outrigger attachments to prevent it from tipping over when lifting a load. This machine has a smaller track than the counterbalanced stacker, but has comparable lifting abilities and capacity. Straddle stackers are also available with a reaching carriage that permits for use in narrow aisles.

The Difference Between a Pallet and a Skid

Unless you work in a warehouse or on a construction site, you probably do not know the difference between a pallet and a skid. Because of the lack of knowledge regarding these storage solutions, pallets are often referred to as skids or vice versa. Even though these shipping tools are similarly built, their differences govern their function. The majority of pallets and skids are made out of either wood or plastic. 

Below is a detailed description of the differences between pallets and skids. 

 

Pallets 

Pallets have both a top and bottom deck, which provides more stability than skids. A pallet consists of three to four stringers. This allows for support of multiple deck boards and the materials being placed on top of the pallets. 

Pallets are typically used for items that are in transit, often taking them to places with fluctuating climate conditions. When deciding on shipping and storage solutions, changing environments must be taken into account in order to select what pallet material to use.

Knowing the temperature and humidity of the locations where you will use the pallets, along with the type of load, will help you determine what is best type for your particular needs. 

 

Types of Pallets

  • Wood pallets
    • inclined to damage from the elements and overuse
    • cheaper to make 
  • Plastic Pallets
    • Safer to use (no sharp edges or rusty nails)
    • Resistant to fire, flames and bug infestation
    • Easy to clean
    • More expensive
    • Last longer 
    • Available in multiple colors
  • Two-way pallets: designed to be lifted by the deck boards with a forklift or pallet jack through two sides of the pallet
  • Four-way pallets: designed to be lifted by their more rigid stringers and can be lifted by a forklift or pallet jack from any side
    • extremely durable storage solutions
    • recommended for use in an environment with high levels of moisture (even water)

Skids

Skids were invented and used before pallets. A skid is a single-deck loading platform which has no bottom deck. It is a mobile platform that rests on pedestals attached to the deck. Since skids have the ability to be mobile, they are often used as a permanent foundation for heavy machinery. Skids are also available in wood or plastic. 

Skids became less popular after the introduction of pallets, because pallets are nestable and more versatile. 

 

Which Is better?

The slight difference between a pallet and a skid can make it difficult to decide which one to use. There are countless amounts of shipping regulations and you must consider how you will be moving materials around. Due to the two layers, pallets are best for stacking and using forklifts/pallet jacks to move materials throughout the building. They work with automated warehouses and are easy to fit in racks. 

However, skids are best for storing materials that may need to be moved at a later time. Based on the type of supplies being shipped, and your particular requirements, it is best to decide what works for you. 

 

Recycling Pallets and Skids (both Wooden and Plastic)

One of the greatest attributes of pallets and skids is the ability to recycle or reuse them. With the wood pallets, you can take them apart and use the wood for other projects. Several projects that have become popular involve repainting these wood pallets and using them as furniture or decorations around the house and office. 

Another possible use for a pallet is by turning it into mulch. Throw the pieces of the pallet into a wood chipper and use the mulch in your yard. 

Plastic pallets can be reused again for carrying and transporting heavy materials, or melted down to use for the making of other plastic products. 

Container Exchanger is an innovative company that provides services to those who are looking to recycle repurpose or reduce waste. This company allows people to sell, buy, or blog about materials they need or do not want any more. This visionary organization assists other companies on a significant scale to reduce the amount of waste by recycling or reusing their leftover pallets, skids, and other industrial containers. 

 

Summary

The main difference between a pallet and a skid is their construction, which affects how each of them function. Pallets have a top and bottom deck which allow for more stability and versatility. On the other hand, skids do not have a bottom deck, which allows for more mobility. They are easily moved by using a forklift, front loader, a jacking device or other heavy machinery. 

The storage solutions and needs of your specific business will determine which option is the most suitable. Regardless of which you choose to use in your line of work, they are both easily reusable and recyclable. 

Uses for Recycled Pallets

Wood pallets are used around the globe for shipping everyday products and goods. These pallets can be acquired and given a second life by recycling old pallets into a useful items that can be used years down the road.

Container Exchanger believes in recycling, reusing, and reducing waste. They assist companies in achieving this goal on a vast scale, and the following are some ways you can participate individually by repurposing wooden pallets.  

Transforming Pallets into Unique Furniture Pieces

Wood pallets have existed for many years as a method for shipping and storing larger items. In recent times, these pallets have become a useful means of creating unique home décor and design.

Professional decorators, as well as beginner do-it-yourselfers, find a variety of uses for pallets like crafting them into large and small furniture pieces and home décor accessories. Wood palletscan be dismantled into wood planks and used for a variety of projects. The wood can range from nearly new, to rustic with patina, or somewhere in between.

Furniture

Wood pallets are constructed from unfinished wood which provides a blank canvas on which to create your project. Used pallets offer many options to be given a second life in such uses as garden boxes, desks, chairs, bookcases, tables, and beds. If you build your recycled project on you own, you will want to use basic tools and pallets. The typical recommendations for recycled wood pallets are 24 x 24 inches or 30 x 30 inches.

  • Recycled wood pallet dining table. Construct an original dining table using four wood pallets. A pallet table is useful either indoors or outdoors, since it has a simple and rustic appearance.A table can be fit to size, and its design can be flexible.Be sure to complete the piece with oil, wax, or a polyurethane/deck sealer to add resilience and weatherproofing.
  • Coffee table. An easy-to-build coffee table can be constructed using two wooden pallets, stacked and screwed on top of another. Finish if off by adding some casters to the bottom. 
  • Contemporary coffee table with glass top. Thisstylish pallet coffee table is even easier to construct. The glass top creates a more modern appearance.Built from wooden pallets, you can individualize the table by staining, whitewashing, or painting it to make it unique.
  • Computer desk. You can easily construct your own unique desk using wood pallets.All that is required is a pallet, strong legs, and a sheet of plywood.This is a straightforward and economical project, and you will have a perfectly fitting desk for your home office.
  • Kitchen island. To create a kitchen island, you will need at least three pallets, some basic tools, and paint. Just cut the pallets to the required size, secure them together, and add a counter top. Then paint them in a color that coordinates with your kitchen. 
  • Comfortable sofa. A plastic pallet can becut in half, and stainless steel plates and legs added to provide stability and hold the two pieces together.Add cushions, and the sofa is ready to use. A more complex project that can be built is a couch with storage space, which requires six wooden pallets.
  • Bookshelf. Pallets can be easily constructed into bookshelves without a lot of adjustment. All you need to do is place the pallet against the wall, secure it, and add some shelves. You can then paint it to coordinate with your current décor.
  • Outdoor swinging chair.Dismantle a pallet and sew small boards together using durable rope. Then use additional rope and hang the swing from a tree.
  • Outdoor lounger. Use four equal size pallets and stack on top of one another, two by two. Create a backrest with the remaining 2x4s and attach them to the top boards on both sides. Paint your chair a lively color, and relax.

Other Uses for Pallets

Not limited exclusively to furniture, amateur wood workers are recycling old pallets and transforming them into many other creative items.

  • Pet beds. Use leftover wooden pallets to make a bed for your dog or cat.Just cut a pallet to obtain a rectangular shape, and add a comfortable pillow and some decorations if you desire.
  • Pet food stand. A pet food table can be built from reclaimed pallets that coordinates with the wood tones in your home, and it will hold up to the dailywear and tear of your loving pet, as well as being fashionable and functional. 
  • Picture framesFrames are perfect for displaying your pictures year-round. They can be stained or painted in any color you desire. 
  • Serving tray. Serving breakfast in bed to those with big appetites requires a tray that can handle the job. Be sure to use pallets with a substantial weight. 
  • Kitchen hanging pot rack. This item requires just onewooden palette that is attached to the wall by hooks and brackets.Position it below the ceiling to save space.

A significant advantage of using pallets is they are recyclable and reusable for numerous projects – imagination and creativeness are all you need!

How to Shrink Wrap a Pallet

If you want your pallet shrink wrapped, make sure that you choose a reliable and experienced company that provides good service at economical prices. The best companies provide their customers with sustainable and environmentally friendly products and services, too.

Shrink wrapping pallets is an industrial packaging technique used to secure freight items to a pallet for shipment. The more appropriate term for this practice is “stretch-wrapping,” as the task involves wrapping many layers of a thin, stretchable plastic (almost like the plastic wrap in your kitchen) around the freight items and pallet. 

It is the tautness and quantity of layers which gives the wrap the strength to hold the freight items and pallet together. Often, careless stretch-wrapping will lead to disastrous results when it comes time for transportation.  

Shrink wrapping pallets and freight items for transportation not only protects the items from the environment, it holds them together so that you minimize the possibility of loss.

The following steps should give you some insight on how to shrink wrap a pallet. We’ll go trough the proper way to stretch-wrap (another term for shrink-wrap), saving you time and frustration in the future.

 

Step 1: Choosing the Correct Pallet

The whole packaging process will be disastrous if you do not choose the appropriate pallet for your freight in the first place. Every pallet you consider should be sturdy and in good condition. Select the appropriate size that will fit all freight items without the stack being precariously tall. 

Also, different industries and countries have different pallet size standards, so take this into account when choosing a pallet. 

Optional: Once you have a pallet selected, place the pallet on other similarly sized pallets at a 45-degree angle. This is simply to place your pallet higher in the air. In some cases, this will make stretch-wrapping easier, giving you more leverage to wrap around the pallet’s corners. However, think ahead. Only do so if you have safe means, such as a forklift, to lower the pallet from the stack. 

 

Step 2: Stacking the Freight Items

Stack the freight items closely together so that they are braced well. This is crucial. If they have room to shift around after you have wrapped the pallet, the packaging is ineffective and is at risk of unraveling. If the pallet unravels, items may fall and create risk for item damage and personal danger. 

 

Step 3: Attaching the Plastic Wrap

The very first thing you do when you are ready to stretch-wrap your pallet unit is to securely attach one end of the plastic wrap to the pallet. You should use one continuous length of plastic wrap for the entire stretch-wrapping process.

To begin shrink wrapping pallets, unroll approximately 1-yard plastic wrap, and then squeeze the end’s final 8 inches into a rope shape. Thread this “rope” portion through and around a corner of the pallet. Hold this rope-loop snug to the pallet corner, and then fold the remaining plastic wrap over it to begin its first revolution around the pallet. The plastic wrap will stick to itself, making itself secure. You do not need to tie a knot at any point. 

 

Step 4: Stretch-Wrapping

Now is time to do the bulk of the stretch-wrapping.

Continuing wrapping in the direction that was begun in step 3. First, wrap around the base of the pallet and item stack. Wrap the base tightly at least four or five times, or as many times needed to ensure that the plastic wrap will not slip off. Ensure that you allow the bottom edge of the plastic wrap to extend to the bottom edge of the pallet foundation. 

Continue wrapping upwards from the base. The freight items at any height should have at least four or five layers of plastic wrap. 

Keep in mind that, when wrapping, you should attempt to stretch the plastic wrap to its limits. This will ensure maximum holding strength. Also, if you do not do this, the plastic wrap may stretch during transit, loosening your work and creating risk.

 

Step 5: Checking Your Work

Once complete, ensure that your pallet foundation and freight items seem like one unit. They all should move as one, and nothing should wobble.  

For a little added strength and convenience in pulling the pallet, go to the center of the pallet unit for one more revolution. During the revolution, twist the wrap 180-degrees once. This twist can act as a grip that can be pulled much harder without breaking. 

When satisfied, tear the plastic wrap away from the roll and pat down in place.

Turning Trash into Cash

In these tough economic times, recycling offers an opportunity to make a contribution to saving the planet’s resources and improving your own bottom line at the same time.

Recycling centers are a fairly simple business to start, and they can be extremely profitable and environmentally friendly, too. 

 

Market Research

Irrespective of the business you intend to start, it is always best to start by doing some research on your intended business before you invest any of your hard-earned cash into the project. Investigate other recycling businesses. See if there is a gap in the marketplace. Speak to your potential future customers to find out what they would like or how you can improve things if there is competition. Find out what types of materials are being recycled and find out the current recycling processes in your neighborhood.

Proper market research will allow you to spot the opportunities in the market and will give you a good idea of demand for your services.

 

Choosing the Right Space

Once you have completed your market research, then it is time to start putting your business plans into action. Start by searching for the right location for your recycling center. You need to strike a balance between costs, location, and convenience. 

Remember to factor in transportation costs in your location. A location closer to your clients may be more expensive, but locations further away will require higher transport costs in the long run.

You also need to select a location that has sufficient space to store the recyclables that you will be collecting. Make sure zoning and local laws allow for the type of business you want to operate.

 

Obtain the Right Permits

 Once you have an idea of your potential locations, it is time to approach your local council or the state to obtain the permits you will need to run your business. Legal processes can be complicated, and it can be helpful to approach a local legal firm to help you through the process of applying for the necessary permits for your area.

 

Look for Funding

Very few individuals have all of the necessary capital to invest in a brand new business. Capital is, however, vital for any new startup.  Make sure you budget for your marketing, sales, and your setup costs.  Since recycling is environmentally friendly, and it may help to support the local government, government funding may be available to you to help fund some of the equipment and costs you may have.

 

Investing in Your Equipment

Once you have paid your permit and license fees, it is time to invest in the equipment you will need to operate your business. 

Your market research will provide you with an idea of the items you should be recycling and, therefore, what equipment you might need to support your business. Equipment forms the backbone of every good business. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of buying second-hand versus new equipment. Repair costs and maintenance costs on secondhand equipment can quickly mount up and affect your profitability. Consider these costs when selecting your equipment.

 

Select the Right Containers

Once you have an idea of your location and startup costs, it is time to consider what kinds of containers you will need for collection and storage purposes. 

Second hand containers support your company’s goal of recycling, and they offer you immense cost savings. Since the material you are collecting is going to be recycled, you don’t really need to worry about the history of the containers.

We know all too well that when you buy new containers, many old ones (that are still usable and in good shape) end up collecting dust in the warehouse or sitting in a landfill. But, when you buy used bulk containers, you are able to cut down on waste, save money and find the perfect container for your needs. 

Second hand containers come in all shapes and sizes, and they can offer huge cost savings. You need to decide what types of containers will suit your business best. Make sure the containers you select are practical. Ensure that clients can easily access the containers at your recycling drop-off points. Make sure the containers have lids if you need to keep your contents dry. You also need to consider the material used to create the container to ensure the container meets your requirements; for example, plastic or metal containers are best if they will be left outside, rather than wood or composite materials that may break down due to weather.

 

Advertising and Marketing

When you are ready, then you need to begin marketing your new business. Remember to contact your local newspapers and blogs. Bloggers and newspapers are always looking for stories that affect the community, and that can help to support the community.

Make sure you reach out to potential clients, and that you make it as simple as possible to recycle in your community.

How to Encourage Recycling at the Office

Recycling used to be considered fashionable, but with overcrowded landfills, climate change, and the state of the environment on everyone’s minds lately, recycling has become vital. Waste removal is also expensive and, as a company, encouraging your employees to recycle is not only good for the planet, but it can also have an effect on your bottom line.

Since we encourage companies to recycle and reuse shipping and storage containers on the industrial side of business, we know just how important it is to do so across all industries. Just because you don’t work in the manufacturing industry doesn’t mean there are specific ways you can work green solutions into your company culture. Here are some tips on how to develop and implement a recycling policy at your office. 

 

Audit

If you want to institute a recycling policy, you need to begin by auditing the company in terms of waste generation. Take stock of where waste is generated, the type of waste that is being created, and the waste removal strategies currently in place. 

An audit will help you to define what waste the company generates, the rate at which that waste is being generated, and where the waste is being generated. This information will allow you to select the right types of containers for your waste as well as placing you in a position to define what containers will serve you best and where they will best serve your needs.

 

Create a Policy

Once you have an idea about the waste your company generates, you can begin to prepare a policy on what your company should be recycling. Consulting your staff on ways to recycle can be helpful. Staff participation in policies can be a valuable tool in getting the staff to support company policy. 

Make sure your recycling policy includes what waste needs to be recycled as well as including your recycling goals. Goals are a valuable motivational tool for companies. Paper forms a large proportion of waste for many companies. Try to maximize paper usage and minimize wastage by using both sides of the paper, for example. You could also consider using shredded paper for packing purposes to reduce packaging costs and increase recycling.

 

Educate Your Staff

Knowledge is power and, in the case of recycling, understanding why the company needs or wants to recycle creates an understanding among the staff that can help to motivate them to recycle where possible. Understanding the effects on the bottom line and the effects on company reputation can motivate the staff to participate willingly in the company’s recycling policy.  

 

Encourage Teamwork

Create teams and set recycling goals for your teams. Creating a healthy atmosphere of teamwork and competition between different areas of the company can help to motivate staff to achieve your recycling goals. Teamwork also encourages staff members to encourage and educate one another.

Since recycling often has a cost implication, use a financial incentive based on your recycling efforts to incentivize the teams. You could, for example, pledge a certain portion of the savings to your annual Christmas party or company gathering. 

 

Share Your Efforts

Green companies are responsible companies. Do not be afraid to add your recycling bins and efforts to areas where your customers may see them. Customers are supporting greener companies and are often eager to help or to get involved in community projects.

 

Choose The Right Containers

Once you have set your recycling goals, then it is time to work out which containers will serve your needs best. Second hand containers can be a great way to set the right recycling tone in the company. Used containers are also often much cheaper than new ones, which means you can afford to purchase containers for each area of the company. Make sure you select the right type of containers. 

Smaller baskets can be useful at the copiers and printers to help to encourage the recycling of paper products. Larger bins may be more suitable in your packaging areas and warehouses, where cardboard containers and boxes can be recycled. Smaller bins are suitable for the kitchen or canteen where the bins can be used to recycle plastic, paper, and glass products.

 

Work with Other Companies

Recycling companies have some great ideas on implementing recycling in the workplace. They are often willing to work with other companies to increase recycling efforts, and they often charge a minimal fee if the waste has already been sorted. Reach out to the companies in your community and see how your recycling efforts can help to support other companies in the community.

 

Make It Simple

Remember to make your recycling projects as simple as possible for the staff involved. Pay special attention to your audit and make sure you have bins that make recycling easy. Choose bins with lids for the canteen area, for example. Choose containers that are big enough to accommodate sufficient waste, without adding to the workload of your employees.

Considerations When Choosing the Right Laundry Cart for Your Business

 

It may not seem to be the most pressing issue in this tough economic climate, but making the right decision on what containers will serve your business best can have both financial and practical implications that can affect your bottom line and productivity. Choosing the right laundry carts for your business may be a good example.

There are a variety of different laundry carts on the market, both new and used, and the characteristics of these carts hold different advantages and disadvantages for your business.

 

New Laundry Carts or Used?

Recycling is not just a buzzword these days, but has become a real issue for clients and for the entire planet. There are a variety of reasons why you would want to choose either new or used carts.

New laundry carts may be the right choice for your company if you require your laundry carts to meet certain standards or requirements. Hospitals, for example, have strict requirements for all medical equipment, and there is also the issue of contamination to consider when dealing with patients. Purchasing new carts may be more expensive but they offer the advantage of knowing what they have been used for in the past.

 On the other hand, if your laundry cart requirements do not include strict standards of compliance or if issues with regards to the appearance of your carts are not consequential, then buying used laundry carts may offer a distinct cost saving for your company. 

Buying and using recycled or previously owned containers can also be an advantage for your company in terms of supporting the environment and the earth’s resources. “Green” companies are seeing a distinct advantage in terms of client support and marketing and the power of your customers and perception about your company should not be underestimated.

 

Canvas or plastic?

Laundry carts come in a variety of materials, from canvas to plastic. The canvas on the laundry carts can often be removed and cleaned, which can be a distinct advantage depending on your usage of the carts. Plastic can also be cleaned to a certain extent and may have a longer lifespan. Canvas is slightly harder to use for branding purposes than plastic.

 

Open or Closed Laundry Carts

Once again, the choice between open and closed laundry carts depends on your particular needs. The advantage of an open laundry cart system is that the laundry cart can be accessed from all sides of the cart, which makes loading and unloading a lot easier. The disadvantage to open laundry carts is that the contents of the cart will be on display. This could be an issue when clients or customers are able to view the contents of the cart. 

 The contents of an open laundry cart are also exposed to contamination and to the environment. It is therefore a good idea to think about where the laundry cart will be going in order to assess whether the contents of the cart can be affected by dirt, dust, or other contaminants in the environment.

Closed laundry carts offer the advantage of keeping the contents safe from dirt in the environment, and they may look neater. The disadvantage of closed carts is that loading and unloading may be more difficult, and that the task of loading and unloading may be limited to one or two sides of the containers.

 

Casters or Stationary?

Another option you are often given in terms of selecting the right laundry cart for your business is the choice between stationary carts or carts that come with casters. If your laundry carts are going to be used in a single location, without requiring much movement, then a stationary cart would be the right choice for your business.

Carts with casters make the job of transporting the contents from one location to another far simpler and, for the most part, laundry containers with casters are the more popular choice. Most laundry carts with casters also have a locking facility to keep the cart stationary as needed. 

A little organization can save you money and time. When choosing your next laundry carts, speak to your employees. Find out what type of cart and what attributes will suit them best. Investigate the market for both new and used laundry carts to evaluate your options before purchasing. The investment you make will most likely be used for a few years, so take the time to choose wisely and consider all of your options.

Container Gardening with Used Containers

 

As a company who strives to cut down on waste, by finding new ways to reuse old containers and save you money while doing so, we thought a discussion on container gardening would be highly beneficial! This is a great hobby that brings your household fresh herbs, gets you outside and breathes new life into old containers that still have plenty of use left in them.
Container gardening can be extremely rewarding, and it can be source of healthy food, too. Container gardening has become more and more popular as a way to use smaller spaces like balconies and small back gardens. Containers are extremely easy to plant, and they offer you the ability to grow a wide variety of plants that can brighten up your day and add value to your dinner table.
Here are some ideas on how to start a container garden for your home or garden.

 

Finding the Right Containers

There are a wide variety of containers that make great homes for your new plants, herbs, and vegetables. Basically, any container that is fairly weatherproof can be converted into a container for your container garden.
There are numerous used container companies that offer a huge variety of used, second-hand containers that make great containers for your container garden. The containers you select depend on your space available.
Take a look at the area where you want to create a container garden, and decide on the number of containers and the size of the containers you need. You must also consider the types of plants you want to grow when choosing the right type of container.

 

Growing Herbs in Containers

Herbs are a great plant to grow in containers, particularly near your kitchen area. Herbs add a great fragrance to your home and kitchen, and they are also a healthy addition to any dish or salad. Herbs have been prized for thousands of years for their medicinal qualities and health benefits.
You can purchase herbs in the form of seeds or seedlings from your local nursery, and, generally, herbs are fairly simple to grow. All you really need is a good sized container with good drainage, and you need to pick a spot that has a lot of sunlight. Herbs grow best in regions like the Mediterranean, so growing your herbs in a sunny spot will help them to thrive. You also need to choose the right type of soil for your herbs. Speak to your local nursery about soil that offers good drainage and nutrition for your herbs.
Since the soil you choose generally drains quickly, you need to be ready to water your herbs fairly frequently. Since the drainage can deplete the soil of nutrients, you should probably consider investing in some fertilizer for your herb garden. Fertilizer that promotes healthy leaf growth rather than flower growth is best for herbs since you are interested in harvesting these delicious leaves for your kitchen from time to time.
You also need to do a little homework on the herbs you would like to grow. Different types of herbs require different conditions, and a little bit of research will save you lots of problems in the long term. Grow similar herbs in the same containers to make fertilizing and watering simple.

 

Used Pallets

There are a number of different containers that are suitable for growing herbs. If you have a small area, then you can choose to create an herb wall using second-hand pallets. Attach the pallet to the wall and use the slats to arrange your containers of herbs. Place herbs with similar needs together.
Using a pallet for your herb wall can also be a great way to conserve water. When you water the herbs at the top of the pallet, the water trickles down into the lower levels of herbs. You can grow a huge variety of herbs like this placing the herbs which require less water at the top and the herbs that require more water further down in the pallet.

 

Used Drums

Used drums also make great containers for herbs. You are able to find used drums at low prices, plus by reusing this bulk container, you are keeping materials out of the landfill. You need to ensure the type of drum you choose will not break down due to watering your herbs, so a plastic container may be best. Cutting holes into the side of the drum will give you space for planting numerous herbs around the drum.
Once again, it is best to plant the herbs which require less water at the top of the drum and the herbs requiring more water further down since water will drain easily. It is also essential to ensure you choose the right soil and to make sure your drum has good drainage at the bottom.

How to Choose Containers for Growing Food

 

Container gardening has become a popular way to grow your own herbs and vegetables and, if you choose the right containers and take the right precautions, then growing your own food can be rewarding. It is, however, important to think about certain things before you choose your containers for food.

Since we are experts at helping large scale industries choose the right shipping and storing container based on their specific needs, we can help you determine the right one for your home garden. There is nothing we like more than seeing a new life being created out of containers that are no longer of use to their initial purpose. We also strongly believe in green solutions that allow us to recycle and reuse, rather than adding objects, such as bulk containers, to the landfill. 

Unlike growing plants for pleasure, growing food requires you to consider the fact that the food will be consumed by you and your family, and there are some considerations you need to keep in mind, like contaminants and safety.

Here are the most important aspects you need to consider when selecting a container for your home garden.

Container Type

 The first thing you need to study is the specific type of container. What is the container made of? Is it made of an organic substance, is it plastic or a manmade substance like metal? How porous is the container? Terracotta, wood, and plastic can be extremely porous, and this means that the container may still contain remnants of the substances that were stored in the container previously.

Metal containers can leach lead or other trace elements that can be harmful. It is important to realize that plants absorb minerals and nutrients from the soil. A nutrient-rich soil will produce nutrient-rich plants that will feed your family, but contaminants in the soil can also be absorbed. If your container is leaching a harmful substance, that substance can end up in the plants you grow, and these may then end up on your dinner table. 

Lead, for example, is toxic to humans. Asbestos can be harmful to your family’s health. Make sure the container cannot leach lead or release asbestos into your vegetables or into the environment. You should also take note of the paint or covering used on the container. Many older paints are lead-based paints, and these can leach lead into the soil as well.

It is therefore vital to do some homework on the containers you choose. Just because a container is organic, like wood or terracotta, does not mean it is healthy or that it does not contain contaminants that can harm your family, which is why it is also important to check the history of your container.

The Container’s History

 Once you know more about your container, if it is porous, you need to do some research on what the container has been used to store in the past. If it was used to store dangerous chemicals and the container is porous, then there is a high likelihood that the chemicals could have leached into the container, and that trace amounts of these chemicals can seep into the soil that your plants are growing in. This could affect the health of your vegetables and your family’s health if they eat the produce grown in these containers.

Make sure the container was not used to store harmful fungicides, pesticides, or other chemicals that can affect the health of your plants or your family. Just because a container was used on a farm, for example, does not guarantee that it will be safe for the purposes of growing food.

If your container is plastic, then you should take careful note of the markings on the plastic. Certain types of plastic are not suitable for food containers. There may be recycling marks on the container. Certain types of recycled plastic containers are suitable for food, but if the container has markings that include “V,” “PS,” or “Other,” then the container is most like not suitable for growing food.

If you are not sure about the container you are selecting, ask the seller for a material data sheet. This sheet contains information on the products used to create the container, and it will shed some light on whether the container is suitable for growing vegetables and food.

Using an Internal Container

If you are uncertain about whether the container you have chosen is suitable for your food, then you could choose to buy food-safe containers and use the second-hand containers for form rather than function. That way, you can take advantage of the great looks of the containers you have chosen without putting your family’s health at risk. Choose containers that are similar in size to the outer containers you have chosen, and then use mulch or bark chips to cover the top of the plants to hide the inner container.