One of the hurdles long facing the construction sector is the challenge of retrieving materials for reuse or recycling from the jobsite. Small amounts of materials and products such as pallets tend to accumulate at numerous construction locations, and delivery trucks may not be returning later to take back residuals such as packaging or empty pallets. High retrieval costs may dampen the economic viability of reuse and repair programs.
It was therefore not surprising that when the Cement Association of Canada (CAC) embarked on its sustainable development program in the early 2000s, the topic of wood pallet recycling was raised. Only 10% of the wood pallets used for palletizing bagged cement in Ontario were being reused. The Association set an initial goal of increasing that rate to 60%. Today, 98% of all CAC pallets are used for more than one trip. The average pallet is used 5.5 times before being recycled.