The City of Edmonton’s Transportation Services department both recycles sand and uses less salt. Both initiatives save taxpayer dollars and reduce negative environmental impacts.
Over the past 11 years, the City has been able to divert over 1.1 million tonnes of sand through its leading-edge sand recycling program. That translates to a cost savings of more than $50 million for Edmonton taxpayers – the same sand gets reused year after year, a strategy that means sand is diverted from landfills to be reused on winter roads.
The City also launched a Sand Salt Mixing Program in 2010 that has gone from mixing six per cent salt into roadways sand down to four per cent with no change to performance. The reduction was possible through more accurate mixing methods. This year, the City will run a pilot program that will see if a three percent mix is still as effective at maintaining safe winter roads.
Less sand and salt in landfills and storm drains (and on our city’s numerous roadside greenspaces) means a healthier environment for all of our citizens. I applaud the City’s Transportation Services department for continuing to find cost effective, environmentally responsible innovations as they work to keep our winter roads safe.