Wisconsin is making the most of what they’ve got, and they’ve got a lot of cheese. As we’ve found ourselves deep in winter, that means ice has crept its way into our lives. Some cities sprinkle salt or gravel to keep peace on the roads. But Wisconsin uses cheese brine to solve the icy road problem.
According to Huffington Post on Dec. 26, it matters which cheese is used too. The fleet operations manager for the public works department says that mozzarella or provolone are best due to the quality of their salt content.The Washington Post reports that the $6,500 pilot program incorporates 8 gallons of brine into each ton of salt.
Though it doesn't sound like 8 gallons would be all that much, it seems to be doing the trick. In at least one case, it’s been a mutually beneficial situation for the dairies and the public works department. The Huffington Post reports that by donating their brines, F & A Dairy company has been able to save $20,000 in transportation and disposal costs and the public works department for Polk County has saved $40,000 in rock salt costs.
A full report on how well the brine works and if there are any runoff side effects will be available come spring time. Beet juice and spent brewery grain have been considered for de-icing in the past but they weren’t up to snuff.