Some cities are beeting snow on roads - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Some cities are beeting snow on roads

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Aiming to strike a balance between clear roads and a cleaner environment, public works departments around the country are looking to cut salt usage by using some unlikely, natural products.

Oddly enough, beet juice, cheese brine, molasses and even beer are being slathered onto some streets. Surprisingly some Montanans are on board.

"If it works and its better for the environment and it may be cheaper for communities, Im not sure what the cost analysis would look like, but I think most Montanans are willing to try things. We love the environment. We live in a beautiful place, said Elizabeth Hill, a Great Falls resident.

According to the Washington post, salt corrosion causes billions of dollars in damages and harms thousands of waterways each year. While cities using these natural products aren't completely quitting salt use, implementing these natural de-icers into a salt mixture helps alleviate some of the negative effects of sodium chloride. 

Despite its environmental impact, we're not likely to see salt replaced entirely anytime soon because it is the cheapest way keep the roads clear. However, one car expert in Helena says using beet juice could lower car owner's maintenance costs.  

"Beet juice it prevents rust and actually keeps things from rusting and actually doesn't harm the tire in any way. It does tend to make a little bit of a sticky mess, but other than that it
s actually not a bad thing to use, said Mason Klinger, worker at Whalen Tires in Helena.
 
He says beet juice is great at preventing rust. Tractor drivers have been using it for years to keep their nuts and bolts intact.

The Montana Department of Transportation says it has never used any alternative de-icer and has no plans to do so at this time.

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