Portland, Oregon Pallet Recycling Saves Trees

The Portland, Oregon wood and plastic pallet industry recycles hundreds of millions of pallets every year, saving over 40 million trees!

Read more about how all the ways the Portland, Oregon pallet industry cares for the environment.

Portland, Oregon Pallet Recycling

The Portland, Oregon pallet industry is an environmentally conscious one, and Portland pallet recycling is one of the most ubiquitous parts of the industry. Oregon Pallet companies reduce, reuse and recycle lumber, pallets and other material as much as possible. Even after a pallet is too damaged or worn to be used anymore, it is still transformed into a usable and environmentally-friendly resource. Learn more about PNW Pallet’s green mission by starting a conversation with us.

Recycling pallets in Oregon saves trees, but how many?
Rather than produce all Oregon pallets from new lumber, the wooden pallet industry in Oregon recycles hundreds of millions of pallets every year! By using recycled wooden pallets many supply chains can reduce their demand for trees. 95% of wooden pallets are recycled, making them one of the most reused and recycled materials in the transportation and shipping industries. But figuring out how many trees those efforts save is going to take some math.

Here are some Portland pallet recycling facts:

  • Estimations from the Department of Forestry indicate that nearly 2 billion pallets are in service
  • 400-450 million pallets are produced annually from new lumber
  • 350+ million pallets each year are recovered and resold to pallet users
  • Over 95% of pallets are recovered and reused or turned into other products such as mulch

Calculating How Many Trees Portland, Oregon Pallet Recycling Saves
To examine how many trees are saved each year, we need to determine how much lumber is used in a standard pallet, and how much lumber can be produced from a normal size log.

For our calculations, we estimate that two 10’ logs can be harvested from one tree. With that baseline, we can then calculate how many trees are saved each year by recycling pallets.


The amount of lumber used in a standard 48 x 40 GMA pallet is 15.17 board feet of lumber on a gross scale. For a 10’ log with a small end diameter of 14”, the board footage in that log is 63 BF.
If we take 63’ of lumber from a log and divide it by 15.17 BF needed for the pallet we can build just over 4 pallets from each log.

By then taking the 350 million pallets recovered each year and dividing it by 4 pallets per log, we see that around 87 million logs that have been used to produce these pallets. That’s a lot of lumber!

If we were able to get two logs from every tree, we would then save 43.5 million trees each year! By recycling 350 million pallets a year, we can save around 43.5 million trees that would be required to produce these pallets. Without this recycling effort, not only would our environment be impacted but supply of lumber would decrease and demand would increase. This would lead to a significant rise in cost for lumber.

PNW Pallet’s Green Mission
PNW Pallet is proud to be a part of the push for more environmentally conscious business practices. We save lumber from going to waste, in addition to recycling cardboard and other recyclable materials.

We use industry-leading customer service and products and we do our best to lessen our environmental footprint. If you’d like to learn more about us, we’d love to talk to you about our products and services, get in touch!