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07/24/2013 2:01 PM
Posted by: L. Greenwood

One of the most perennial questions I get here at Don't Move Firewood is best described as the infinite variations of...can I burn pallets? move pallets? use pallet wood in my stove?


Dear Don't Move Firewood,

Is pallet wood okay to move?

Thank you, Karen


Here's the quick answer; not a good thing to do. Not often illegal, truly, but still something that I suggest not doing.



 - Pallets are sometimes impregnated with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Particularly methyl bromide. You don't want to burn that and then inhale it, or contaminate your wood stove.

- Pallets are often stored outside for at least a few months, if not longer. That means nearly anything can crawl onto them and lay eggs (gypsy moth), or contaminated soil can stick or splash onto them (sudden oak death).

- Pallets from other countries are now required to be heat treated, but some falsification of certificates and imperfectly applied treatment still occur. That means new pallets could still contain pests within their wood.

- Campgrounds will sometimes confiscate cut pallets and construction waste as part of their own facilities safety needs. So even if you bring it, you might not get to use it.

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