FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Mon Power started a new program to recycle and repurpose some of their materials.  

At nine service centers in West Virginia, Mon Power will store used utility poles to be redistributed. 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. Their total weight can range from 300 pounds to 1,000 pounds depending on the length. A few ways the poles can be used are to make fencing, parking bollards, guide rail posts, or for landscaping or treated wood construction.

Courtesy: First Energy

When the service centers have collected a full load of approximately 25 poles, Mon Power will work with Blackwood Solutions, 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 the entire load, can be accessed by tractor-trailer and are located within a certain distance from the collection sites. 

In the past, Mon Power’s discarded poles had been cut into smaller pieces and stored on site until a waste management company took them to a landfill for proper disposal. While it could take up to a year for Mon Power to accumulate a full load of poles to be recycled, the program is expected to reduce Mon Power’s waste stream significantly over time. 

“As a company, we’re looking for ways to be environmentally friendly in the communities where we live and work, and one of those ways is to reduce our waste strain and reduce the amount of landfill waste that we produce every year,” said Will Boye, a Mon Power spokesperson. “And this is a good way to do that because these poles are so heavy and they do generate a fair amount of landfill waste over time.” 

“We are committed to reducing waste and improving our recycling efforts,” said Jim Myers, president of FirstEnergy’s West Virginia operations. “And this is an exciting opportunity for us to adopt a more environmentally friendly practice and find new uses for our secondhand utility poles in West Virginia.”

Utility poles can last for years before being taken down by Mon Power but that could be cut short if they are damaged during severe storms or car accidents. 

The program originally started at Ohio Edison, a FirstEnergy electric subsidiary based in Ohio. It went so well that the company decided to try it out in West Virginia. The company will review the program over the next 12 months and consider expanding it to additional locations in its service territory. 

To find out more about participating in the pole recycling program or to contact Blackwood Solutions, visit here or call 812-676-8770.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.