We manage many types of waste resulting from the process of providing electricity, operating office buildings, construction, and repairing and replacing equipment. We continue to make progress to standardize and streamline the collection of waste data. Through this process, we plan to identify improvement areas to further reduce and divert waste from landfills through beneficial reuse or recycling. For example, over the past four years, AEP has recycled more than 8,300 tons of wood waste. On average, this represents approximately 21% of our annual wood waste. We leverage a third-party salvage company to pick up wood waste, such as old or damaged poles or crossarms at our service centers, which are then reused to make fences or barns.
We continue to see a decline in the amount of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-containing equipment used across the company. PCBs, which are known to have adverse health effects, have not been used in new electrical equipment in the U.S. since 1979 but may be present in older transformers and other pieces of electric equipment. We removed and recycled approximately 24,400 pieces of electrical equipment in 2021, of which 979 contained PCBs at regulated levels.
While we had approximately 1,150 transmission and distribution equipment oil spills in 2021, only one of the spills contained PCBs above EPA’s most stringently regulated level. Most spills are caused by severe weather and public vehicle accidents that damage the equipment. Regardless of the cause, we respond immediately to each spill to clean up the materials released, notify regulatory agencies as required, and restore areas to pre-spill conditions.
We report through the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program, part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). EPCRA requires companies with 10 or more employees, in certain industries, to collect and publicly disclose information about how they manufacture, process, or use any of nearly 650 chemicals on a special list developed by the U.S. EPA. Read more on our TRI website.