If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Hi all

Well I had a bit of a result at today’s job. For a while I’ve been planning to get hold of some wooden pallets and make a few wooden compost bays to replace the plastic ones we inherited. The clients I worked for today had some plants delivered in a couple of crates, and I found out that they were planning on burning them on the bonfire. The magical question starting with “I don’t suppose…?” was presented and now I’m the happy owner of two wooden crates.

Crates waiting to be transformed

Initially I was going to scavenge some pallets from a local industrial estate. As I’ve found before some businesses reuse their pallets. Some on the other hand, have to pay for them to be collected and are all too pleased for someone to take a few off their hands free of charge. Here lies the key to scavenging: if you have your beady eye on something that looks like rubbish, always ask before you take. I was going to get 5 pallets, arrange them standing upright, forming two, three sided bays. Its a design I’ve build before for clients, but never for myself. One thing I’ve found is that this is all so much more exciting when you’re doing it for yourself.

Having seen these crates at today’s job, and having a good rapour with the clients I had a chat and asked if I would be ok to have them and why. They were more than happy for me to make use of them, as they would have just dragged them to their bonfire and burnt them. So everyone is a winner; I have a pair of composting bins that needs very little work, and the clients have some large lumps of rubbish taken away.

The crates themselves are basically a pallet with the 4 sides built up to just over waist height. When I get them to the allotment I will saw out some of the planks from the pallet, leaving the outside structure and the uprights. The reason for this will be so that the material I want to rot down will be directly on the ground, allowing any nearby microbes and bugs into it. Any bits that get sawn out will go in the log basket and be used to heat the house.

Another benefit of this is an environmental one. Instead of the wood being burnt with no benefit other than waste disposal, it will stay in nearly its current form and be put to good use over the next few years. Moreover I won’t have to go out in my van and use diesel specifically to get the materials at the local industrial estate. I will be making the journey from the clients to the yard and then home (allotment is en route to my house) regardless of the crates, so having them on the van for this journey is an added bonus.

That’s today’s cheeky bonus, thanks for reading!


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