PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Get on-line education from the Pro Video Learning Series.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Milwaukee Says ‘Cheese’ to De-Icer

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski is taking an admittedly cheesy approach to keeping his city streets clear this winter.

Following a resolution sponsored by Zielinski, the city’s Department of Public Works has cooked up a pilot program that will combine leftover cheese brine with conventional rock salt to de-ice a test section of the city’s 1,424 streets and 1,966 bridges this winter.

Milwaukee salt truck
Wikimedia Commons / Michael Pereckas

The City of Milwaukee, WI, used nearly 100,000 tons of rock salt in the winter of 2008. The city hopes that wetting the rock salt with a bio-based brine will reduce the cost and damage of salting.

If it works, say officials, de-icing may have a brine future in the winters of Wisconsin’s largest city.

Soaking up a Solution

“Cheese brine is more environmentally friendly than salt, and the program will give a functional use to what is normally just a waste product,” Zielinksi says on his website. “The use of cheese brine could also save money for the city in the long run.”

The salt-and-water brine solution is used to soak mozzarella, provolone and other varieties of cheese. Currently, once the cheese is ready, cheese makers in the nation’s largest cheese-producing state discard the brine as industrial wastewater.

Cheese in brine
cheeseforum.org

Cheese brine is now discarded as industrial wastewater. A county highway department official dreamed up a better use for it and saved his agency $40,000 the first year.

Milwaukee’s plan is to use the cheese brine to wet the rock salt right before it is dumped on the street, Wanda Booker, the city’s sanitation services manager, told the Chicago Tribune.

Currently, the city’s 90 salt trucks mix liquid calcium chloride with the rock salt when temperatures drop below 24 degrees to make the salt more effective.

City officials say the brine-boosted recipe would help the city’s effort to reduce its use of rock salt, which can damage roads, vehicles and the environment over the long term.

Low-Salt Diet

In the winter of 2008, Milwaukee spread nearly 100,000 tons of rock salt on its 1,418 miles of roads, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Last year, the city used 43,339 tons of rock salt.

Cheese brine
Wikimedia Commons / Achim Hering

Rock salt washed into concrete can cause efflorescence that weakens the concrete over time.

The Department of Public Works studied the idea before agreeing to the pilot program and, in fact, the notion is not new.

What Moe Knows

Credit for the idea goes to Moe Norby, the technical support manager of the Polk County (WI) Highway Department, who dreamed up the plan in 2008.

“We don’t have our own saltmaker up here, and buying one is really expensive,” Norby told Bloomberg Businessweek.

“I started trying to think of other ways to salt the road, and I thought, ‘Dairy farms soak their cheese in brine. Brine is salty. Maybe we can use that.’

“We started testing the brine in late 2008, and it worked perfectly,” Norby said. “We saved $40,000 the first year. Since then, I’d estimate that our costs are down 30 percent because of it.”

That brine is donated to Polk County. Milwaukee will have to find its own source and obtain appropriate permits before beginning its trial, reports said.

The Smell of Success

Still, the cheese has yet to prove its worth, and other kitchen de-icers have not worked so well. A molasses-type product trialed from 1999 to 2001 proved too smelly, stuck to people’s shoes, and got tracked all over the city. And a beet-juice-enhanced rock salt tried in 2009 turned to mush in the city’s trucks.

Cheese makers, not surprisingly, give the idea a curdy thumbs-up.

"It's a great recycling idea," John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Umhoefer, told the Chicago Tribune. "What better to put on your roads than the scent of mozzarella?"

Yes, officials say, the brine does have the smell like cheese. But the brine-treated roads don’t.

   

Tagged categories: Chlorides; Maintenance programs; Project Management; Roads/Highways; Salt exposure; Transportation

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Desco Mfg. Co., Inc.

Dust - Free Surface Prep
Made EASY!

Efficient-Fast clean/remove
Advanced Containment
Safe - Well Below OSHA
Yes! - Innovative Solutions!
DESCO Mfg.Co., Inc.
www.descomfg.com
800-337-2648


Novetas Solutions
Number 1 Crushed Glass Abrasive in America!

Manufactured from 100% Recycled Glass.
NO Crystalline Silica,
Beryllium & Arsenic
Great White Metal Finish!
4 plants on Navy QPL
Call us at 866-775-6226


NACE
The latest in Protective Coatings Technology

Examines every generic
type of protective coating
in detail, along with advantages and disadvantages of each. Add it to your library in print or ebook!


N.T. Ruddock Co.

Our Abrasives Hold Up Under Pressure

N. T. Ruddock focuses on abrasive selection, equipment evaluation, equipment maintenance & reduction of abrasive consumption. Other services include Screen Analysis & Background Radiation Testing.


NACE International, The Corrosion Society
Refresh Your CP Skills

With this 12-station, interactive program, practice your CP skills online by working through step-by-step, real-life testing scenarios.


Fischer Technology Inc.
NEW PROBE FOR MEASURING TSA THICKNESS

aired with the PHASCOPE PMP10, Fischer’s new probe is quick and accurate for measuring thermally sprayed aluminum on stainless steel. Click to learn more.


Montipower, Inc.
The MBX Bristle Blaster

Get a 2.7 to 3.3 mil profile and a Near White Metal Clean. For info visit www.mbxit.com or call 877 629-8777


HoldTight Solutions Inc.
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com


Clemco International GmbH
Global engineering-trusted solutions

For more than 70 years, Clemco has provided the highest quality blast equipment with a total commitment to comfort and safety.


Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotachar JF750 - The Time Saving Solution

The only mesh free solution for jet fire scenarios. Jotachar saves installation time and material costs - the next generation of epoxy passive fire protection.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com