Pictured: Our pole vendor picks up a load of old poles on a private road.

Where do old or broken utility poles go?

The answer used to be landfills. But we’ve found a new use for the poles that will reduce our impact on the environment by keeping an estimated 1,600 tons of wooden waste out of landfills every year.

We’ve begun working with a new vendor that brings old poles to an industrial-waste-to-energy facility, where they are used as fuel in an environmentally responsible way to produce energy. The program was successfully piloted at six of our facilities late last year, and we’ll roll it out in all our areas by the middle of this year.

The new agreement also reduces our cost to dispose of the poles. That’s part of our ongoing efforts to operate efficiently and provide service that is safe, reliable and a good value.

We’re investing about $1 billion per year to keep our system strong, which includes rebuilding lines throughout our service area. As we install new poles, we’re pleased to have found a better solution for the old ones.