Apr 23, 2018

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle takes on meaning at PPL

PPL has a longstanding commitment to carry out all of our business activities in ways that preserve and promote a clean, safe and healthy environment. We have invested in environmental upgrades at power plants, carbon-free generation projects and programs to encourage energy efficiency.


Where we can, we find ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials for new uses.

A New Purpose for Wooden Poles

Where do old or broken utility poles go? The answer used to be landfills. But PPL Electric Utilities 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 work with a 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.

Beneficial use facility

In 2013, Louisville Gas and Electric and Charah, Inc., a provider of environmental and maintenance services, unveiled a new, one-of-a-kind manufacturing facility at our Mill Creek Generating Station that recovers up to 50,000 tons of gypsum annually to create the SUL4R-PLUS® product. In its unique, pelletized form, it helps meet the increasing demand for sulfur by the farming industry, which aids in improving soil health and crop nutrition. While synthetic gypsum has been used in agriculture applications in the past, Charah is the first to pelletize the byproduct, making sulfur application easier for the farmer.

Better recycling – reducing our waste

In the U.K., Western Power Distribution diverted an additional 965 tons (876 metric tonnes) of waste from landfills last year by encouraging the recycling of items like paper, PPE plastics, aluminum, wood, metals and toner cartridges. We are also working with local businesses and our main waste contractors to recycle or reuse some of our waste in innovative ways. Since 2014, we have sent old poles to a waste-to-energy facility that incinerates the wood to produce energy to be fed back into the National Grid.

Visit pplweb.com/sustainability to find out more about our efforts to advance a sustainable energy future.

Yellow crane retrieving old telephone poles from the street
PPL Electric Utilities recycles old utility poles into energy.