The Green Horse section provides practical information on managing environmentally sustainable horse properties, readers stories and tips, as well as advice and articles from equestrian experts in their fields.
Vol 37 No 2
In this issue of The Green Horse you will find the following articles:
Horse Manure Compost
by Andrea Carmody
Roly Polies in the Spotlight
Red Witchweed by Nicola Field
There's an App for that!
Fecal Parasite Detection
The Final Step- setting up an equine property Pt 3
by Cynthia Cooper
Toxic Pallets Demystified
Salt Affected Pastures
by Andrea Carmody
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Upcycling or re-using of pallets is currently very popular with a wide range of ideas online. Simple examples range from outdoor furniture, storage solutions, vertical gardens, jump wings and compost stations. However, there is caution regarding using pallets that may have been treated and could therefore leach into the environment or food grown within.
Pallets are available as untreated, or treated with either heat or chemical. The easiest way to determine if this is the case is by checking the markings on the pallets.
Treated pallets are most likely those used for international trade as there are specifications (controlled by the International Plant Protection Committee or IPPC) that need to complied with to prevent the spread of fungus, mould and contaminants between countries. International-use pallets must have an IPPC certificate stamp on them, resembling a rectangle approx. 9 x 11 cm with the IPPC logo and a series of letters and digits, which indicate treatments.
For example, HT indicates heat treatment while MB means it has been fumigated with Methyl Bromide. Methyl Bromide is a dangerous chemical, harmful to the environment and people alike. However, pallets treated with this are banned from Australia and New Zealand, Europe and other countries. Other potential chemical treatments include pyrethins and fungicides. It is also possible that harmful materials or chemicals may have spilled on the timber during its previous use.
If there is no such markings present, the pallet has been manufactured for domestic use only and hasn’t therefore has required any treatment. Multiple-use pallets like those used for bricks or pavers, often have coloured edges (e.g. blue) and/or are branded by the company name. These pallets are made of harder timber. Single-use pallets, like those used to transport new furniture or appliances, are manufactured to be discarded by the company after just one use and are therefore made from the cheapest materials.