FirstEnergy Launches Utility Pole Recycling Program in Ohio Service Area
Wooden utility poles no longer fit for use in Ohio are receiving a new lease on life, thanks to a sustainability program launched by FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) to repurpose discarded poles and keep them out of landfills.
Under the new Wood Pole Diversion Program, utility poles no longer in use by FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company or Toledo Edison – will be redistributed to interested parties for direct reuse. Alternative uses for poles include fencing, parking bollards, guide rail posts, furniture, landscaping or treated wood construction.
"What started as a pilot program in FirstEnergy's Ohio Edison service area is now a reality across the company's entire six-state footprint,"
said Dave Frederick, director of FirstEnergy's environmental department.
"We are committed to reducing waste and improving our recycling efforts, and this is an exciting opportunity for us to adopt a more environmentally friendly practice and find new uses for secondhand utility poles."
When a FirstEnergy pole is retired, utility personnel will remove any hardware from the pole and store it at one of its participating service centers. Each pole, which weighs roughly 50 pounds per cubic foot, must be at least eight feet in length to be part of the reuse program.
When a service center has collected approximately 12 tons of utility poles, the company will work with a transportation and materials management firm to pick them up and distribute them for reuse. The poles will be delivered at no cost to interested parties who are willing to accept a full load, can be accessed by tractor trailer and are located within a certain distance from the collection sites.
In the past, FirstEnergy's discarded utility poles had been cut into smaller pieces and stored on site until a waste management company took them to a landfill for disposal. Since the trial phase of the initiative started in 2020, FirstEnergy has diverted more than 1 million pounds of discarded utility poles from landfills.
In addition to being offered in Ohio, the pole recycling program was recently rolled out by all of FirstEnergy's electric companies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia. The program is expected to reduce FirstEnergy's waste stream significantly over time, as most poles weigh between 300 and 4,100 pounds.
For more information about FirstEnergy's environmental and corporate responsibility efforts, visit www.fecorporateresponsibility.com.
Source: FirstEnergy newsroom