|Sidewalk Salting Alternatives During the Winter
Several residents in the area have brought the issue of over-salting front walks to our attention, and we thought we would share this with our businesses. Many of Riversidepatrons own dogs and find that the excessive use of salt in front of businesses an obstacle which burn the dogs paws. As a result of this, some potential patrons are avoiding Queen Street altogether, and this has an adverse impact on Riverside businesses. In general, over-salting has a negative effect on the infrastructure (corroding sidewalks), cars (rusting) and the ecosystem( high salt content in the water system through spring runoff).
With this in mind we, are sharing some solutions and alternatives to salt use during the winter.
Salt, Refrain from using several bags of salt in one go. A few handfuls spread evenly go a long way, and a allows the salt to melt the snow or ice.
Sand. This is a great alternative to salt. Sand provides traction, is inexpensive, does not harm the environment, and sweeps up easily. Brick sand is best because it is coarser and more granular than regular sand. Brick sand can be purchased from building supply stores. Sand also has a relatively low albedo, which means it will absorb sunlight, helping to warm ice/snow and contribute to faster melting.
EcoTraction. One commercial alternative that shows promise is “EcoTraction”. Limited application of this product, used in conjunction with sand, has worked well at EcoHouse in recent winters. Check out the EcoTraction website for more information on this salt alternative. http://www.ecotraction.com/
Safe Paw is a salt-free ice melter on the market and it is safe for pets, children, surfaces, and the environment. Safe Paw’s pellets are green to make it easy for consumers to distinguish it from rock salt and salt-based ice melters. http://www.safepaw.com/
Magnesium chloride, such as Ice Melt by Uline. It doesn’t leave a powdery residue, and it’s considered safer for humans, animals and vegetation. http://www.uline.ca/BL_7050/Ice-Melt