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How to clear an icy road… with cheese!

Authorities in Milwaukee are clearing their icy roads not just with rock salt, but also cheese. The city, located in Wisconsin, is known for its frigid weather and cheese production, leading boffins to decide it was high time they used one to combat the other.It might also be something to consider over here in the UK as winter draws in, but does the idea whiff a bit?

 

Chese brine, the liquid substance which forms as a by-product of the cheese-making process, is being combined with the rock salt, and then spread onto the tarmac. Elsewhere, in Polk County, also in Wisconsin, cheese brine is being used as a pre-wetting agent — a salty mixture added to rock salt or sand to help it dissolve more easily.

The county say they’ve been doing this since 2009 and they’ve saved $40,000 (almost £25,000) in its first year of using the cheesy substance. 

It’s not all simple, however. First, the county has to find a supplier of cheese in the area that’s willing to supply the brine. 

Its smelly odour might also bring traffic to a stand-stilton (couldn’t resist). But the enormous cost savings might just make the distinctive smell worth it. 

What do you think about using cheese to clear icy roads this winter? Let us know by posting in the comments below. 

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