Wisconsin road crews using cheese brine to keep roads from freezing

"We're just trying to make every possible use of cheese," says city official.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   Dec. 27, 2013 at 2:17 PM
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It appears that public works officials in Wisconsin have possibly confused their cheese-head hats with thinking caps...

Road crews in America's Dairyland are now repurposing cheese brine as part of a pilot program that mixes traditional rock salt with dairy waste to create a substance that will theoretically prevent city roads from freezing.

The program began this month in Milwaukee and state lawmakers hope that it will be an effective way to cut down on pollution and reduce costs.

"You want to use provolone or mozzarella," said Jeffrey A. Tews, the fleet operations manager for Milwaukee's public works department. "Those have the best salt content. You have to do practically nothing to it."

With local governments in other parts of the country trying everything from sugar beet juice to discarded brewery grain to thaw ice, it somewhat stands to reason that Wisconsin would experiment with cheese brine.

"We're just trying to make every possible use of cheese," said Tony Zielinski, an alderman who represents Milwaukee's Bay View district. "If this takes off, if this proves to be a success here, I'm sure that it will be used in cities all over the country."

In honor of the Chicago Bears upcoming matchup with the Green Bay Packers to determine which team will be heading to the playoffs, a bar in the Windy City has come up with another use for cheese. Watch the video below:

[New York Times News Service]

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