Imagine a utility pole 1/5th the weight of a wooden version, less than half that of steel, and 1/10th that of concrete. That's only part of the advantages cited for a new composite-plastic design fabricated via a process called pultrusion. The light weight makes the poles easier and cheaper to transport and erect and they won't rot or crack, says Powertrusion 2000 International Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz. In addition they can last up to four times longer than wood poles and up to twice as long as those made of steel or concrete, it adds. The company also lists environmental benefits -- for example the poles do not require the use of toxic chemicals to prevent them from deteriorating. The hazard of these chemicals leaching from treated wood poles has led to California categorizing them as a hazardous waste product, adds Powertrusion.