MILWAUKEE, Wi — Wisconsin is known for producing cheese, but now the state is taking its cheese industry to the next level, it’s battling icy roads with cheese by-product.
According to the New York Times, Wisconsin road crews are mixing rock salt and cheese brine to treat the state’s icy roads, as a way to cut costs and to stem pollution.
The Times reports that Wisconsin produced 2.7 billion pounds of cheese in 2012. With that much cheese comes a surplus of cheese brine.
Cheese producing companies are saving money by giving the brine to communities who will take it, rather than shipping the brine to landfills.
Polk County, a user of the cheese brine, estimates it saved $40,000 in rock salt in 2009.
In 2012, Milwaukee used 44,000 tons of salt, spending nearly $6.5 million on snow and ice management.
The program will cost Milwaukee about $6,500.