Magic Salt De-Ices Roads with Distillery Waste

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You just never know where the next oddball way to waste reduce is going to come from. Who would have thought that leftovers from alcohol distilleries could be used to melt ice on the roads? Well, Innovative Municipal United States, that’s who—they’re coating rock salt in a distillation by-product that’s safe enough to eat. It makes the salt sticky so that passing cars won’t brush it all to the sides, which means less wasted salt. Liquid calcium chloride, another substance that can be sprayed on rock salt to increase its effectiveness, is corrosive and a pollutant, so Innovative Municipal’s Magic Salt wins hands-down. Some scientists and municipalities are skeptical of the company’s claims (and some people complain of a stink), but other city officials, like those in Binghamton, NY, have cut salt consumption by half, making up the higher cost of Magic Salt with the reduced amount needed. We'd be pleased as a pineapple if they started using sludge from local breweries rather than importing it. Thanks to Tim Leanse for the tip! ::Boston Globe [by KK]

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