Monday, February 25, 2013

Recycling

We are receiving between 10 and 15 tons of food a week now pretty consistently.  It comes on pallets, packed in a cardboard box with a big plastic bag inside it.   It turns out that I can sell the pallets that the food comes in on to a variety of outlets, and so now we're making $300 a week on pallet sales as well, which basically covers the fuel cost and a bit of the labor.  Farming is a game of pennies, and 30,000 more pennies is a nice find!

plastic pallets under a hay stack
 One type of pallet that we get a fair number of is the plastic pallet.  I haven't found any recycler who will pay for them because they don't have a marking on them saying what sort of plastic they're made out of.  I don't know what it's called, but it's usually a triangle a number in it that indicate the type of plastic.  you'll find it on most plastic products, but not on these.  They originate in china, and what they are used to ship is mostly food products, sometimes dairy.  
hay that will be fed to the cows, stacked on pallets
 So I've had a stack of them outside my gate for a while, and it occurred to me that they're pretty much perfect for stacking hay on, to keep the hay off the ground and let some air circulate under the hay.  I like them better than wood pallets, as they don't rot.  So I started stacking my hay on it, and then I put a layer of them under my feeding area, where I feed the cows. 
hay that is being fed to the cows, on pallets
I guess that the best way to sell something is to model it, because pretty much as soon as I put them down I started selling these things for ...more than I get for wood pallets...

Yep.  People like that they don't rot, and I'm now selling them as I get them as hay stack foundations or as something to put down so that your horse or goat or whatever it is doesn't waste as much hay.  You slap one of these down and the ruminate eats a bigger percentage of the hay -- less waste.  And since folks can pay as much as $15 a bale, well, darn, $3 for a pallet that will last forever seems pretty reasonable. 
Cow tested and approved.   Recycling.  Got to love it. 




4 comments:

Silbaugh Family Farm said...

Where do you sell your wood pallets?

Bruce King said...

We sell the blue ones back to the company that owns them, CHEP; $2.65 a pallet. The plain wood ones we either sell to random folks at the farm gate for $2.75 or we sell to rainier pallet in auburn for $1.75, the red ones we sell back to the company that owns them, PECO, $2.85.

Funder said...

Market the plastic ones to people who have woodstoves, too. They'd be perfect to stack your wood on.

Anonymous said...

You are really inspiring. Glad to have your blog around.