Powercor, one of Australia's largest electricity distribution networks has partnered with Australian Architectural Hardwoods on a unique recycling initiative that prevents redundant timber power poles from being sent to landfill.

There are more than five million timber power poles across Australia with thousands replaced each year following routine inspections or upgrades. Powercor distributes electricity to more than 1.75 million Victorians through a network comprising of over 88,300 kilometres of wires supported by more than 570,000 poles including over 360,000 made from natural Australian hardwood timbers such as Spotted Gum, Ironbark, Blackbutt and Tallow Wood.

The conventional practice was to send these old contaminated timber poles to landfill. However, Powercor decided to tie up with Australian Architectural Hardwoods, the largest mill in Australia producing timber products from recycled hardwoods, to recycle the condemned timber poles into finished hardwood products.

Instead of going to landfill, these poles are transformed into quality architectural products while also ensuring the valuable recovery of Australian hardwood timbers. The timber company uses specialised processes to strip back the contaminated layer and expose the clean wood that is recycled into floorboards, flooring, decking, cladding, staircases, furniture and spectacular feature beams.

Several of Powercor’s depots have stopped sending their contaminated, creosote treated timber poles to landfill and are instead transporting them to Australian Architectural Hardwoods.

This initiative also serves as an important resource to meet the rising demand for recycled hardwood timber.