Business owner finds new uses for recycled VW pallets
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - A new company on Brainerd Road is one of the beneficiaries of VW's Pallet Project.
Tons and tons of equipment and construction supplies arrived in Chattanooga to build the Volkswagen plant and most of it came in on pallets of all different sizes.
Rich Smith instantly knew what to do. He suggested VW give them to the community. He says, "This was an opportunity for the community to get some nice materials and I hated to throw it in a dumpster to go to a landfill or to be turned into mulch."
It became a community effort, with VW donating the pallets; others provided transportation and a site to hold them for pickup.
Arts students at UTC, non-profits and small businesses took advantage of VW pallet community days taking what they could use.
The owner of a new design company, Michael Powers, had been keeping an eye out for cheap durable flooring to put down in his Brainerd Road location that had irregular flooring. When he learned about the VW Community Project he says he knew the pallets would what he needed for the flooring.
"I rented a U-haul and we stuffed it full of pallets," Powers says. "I got my brother and some friends and family to saw it up and get it in here." And it's been labor intensive. His brother Ethan Powers says, "We just broke them down with crowbars and hammers and then we had to pull all the nails out by hand with a hammer.
But Seizmic Design owner Michael Powers is grateful, saying he thinks its great. He says the floors have inspired a better perspective of reusing recycling and up cycling materials.
He even designed an up cycle logo and other green projects. The pallets provided more than a floor. The Powers made a workbench out of some of the extra wood and are planning other things.
The Chattanooga organization Createhere.org is collecting pictures of any projects done with wood from the VW pallets. You can see more projects at the CreateHere.org Facebook page.