Why do we still use road salt and what are the alternatives
FSI Landscape supply weighs in on why do we still use road salt and what are the alternatives?
Andrew Russel from Global News brings to our attention the impacts of road salt.
FSI Landscape supply expresses, “without a doubt our number one specialty during fall and winter are our bulk salt and de-icing agents. It is a necessity due to the weather we experience here in Canada”. Andrew Russel shares that for years de-icing salt has become the go-to material for Canadian winters. However, there is a growing concern for the effects it may pose on our environment and infrastructure. FSI Landscape supply explains, “yes, there has been data that shows the negative impact of de-icing salt and de-icing agents. However, there are other alternatives, and de-icing salt has come along way”. FSI continues to share, “there are many alternatives that are more environmentally friendly and can lessen environmental dangers.”
The article expresses that it is based on cost. Sodium chloride is deemed cost-effective. FSI Landscape supply agrees, “yes, sodium chloride is the most cost-friendly de-icing agent; however, there are other ways to improve cost and keep the environment safe.” Andrew Russel provides the following statistics “Environment Canada says the total amount of salt spread across the country fluctuated between 1.5 and four million tonnes between 2004 to 2015 depending on the severity of the winter weather”. FSI expresses “the most important issue should be focused on the safety of our people on their commute. Harsh winters are inevitable here in Canada, if we can find a more friendly method to keep our environment safe as well, than even better. We hear about innovation regularly. We can all come up with a better solution for our environment that keeps us safe as well”.
The article continues to state, Claire Oswald, an assistant professor of geography at Ryerson University in Toronto, said, “most municipalities are working to address the environmental issues but more needs to be done to educate commercial property owner.” FSI Landscape agrees “absolutely, commercial and residential property owners should be aware of using alternative methods such as combinations of salt and sand, and we have knowledge that beet juice has been added to allow the salt to stick to paved surfaces for a longer period of time, therefore, lessening the amount used.”
The article confirms this method; beet juice, cheese, and pickle brine are incorporated with de-icing agents. The variations of brines contain naturally occurring chloride compounds, making its way into the pavement pores, therefore preventing snow and ice from collecting. FSI expresses, “this is beyond, innovative and fantastic, it goes to show that methods to help the environment while keeping our roads safe are being implemented. It is possible, as long as it works, and everyone is safe!” Andrew Russel continues to share that they are working on using roadside grass and kitchen waste in the Netherlands. FSI expresses, “It’s better to use than to waste. With so much compost waste we produce on an annual basis, we could definitely put it to better use as a de-salting agent”.
As time passes, technology and innovation have proven to be on our side. The article shared by Andrew Russel from the Global Mail confirms that there are more environmentally safe alternatives. FSI Landscape supply agrees as long as both our people and our roads are safe.