Using their cheese heads: Wisconsin utilizing cheese brine to de-ice winter roads

Swiss cheese

Only in Wisconsin.

The Badger State is known for its plethora of cheese products, so it only makes sense that someone would find a way to use the byproducts from the dairy delight to de-ice wintery roads.

According to The New York Times, the public works department in Milwaukee is piloting a program that uses cheese brine, mixed with regular rock salt, on roads to keep them from freezing. The creative repurposing is being used to cut down on cost and reduce pollution — but it could come at a smelly price.

Officials are evaluating whether or not residents will be able to smell the de-icing mixture, as well as if the cheesy solution will attract more rodents.

And it’s so far, so good. Residents of Bay View, a Milwaukee neighborhood, have been able to detect little difference in scent after the cheese de-icer has been used, unless they lean down to sniff the road at a close distance.

“We never look down or get that close,” Ghassan A. Korban, the public works commissioner, told the Times as he stood near a cheese brine truck. “If you can’t smell it from this height, then you won’t smell it.”

Some cheese types work better than others, with mozzarella and provolone topping the list. The cheese brine mixture also sticks to the road better than the old mixture, making it more effective at keeping roads ice-free.

The state produced 2.7 billion pounds of cheese in 2012, leaving a surplus of brine that was shipped to waste facilities. Some dairy companies are now donating their waste to any cities that will take it off their hands.

Despite its cheesy prowess, Wisconsin is not the first state to utilize dairy waste for wintery roads. The town of Chehalis, Wash., has been using cheese brine in its de-icing solution since 2008.

Comments

Polititainment

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met's life

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

Jill Biden on Joe: "I fell in love with the boys first"

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden didn't marry Vice President Joe Biden for his sense of humor -- instead, she "fell in love" with his two sons first.

Joe Biden's first Instagram photo

Ladies and gentlemen of this great nation, rejoice! Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram -- and his first post is everything you ever dreamed it would be.

Celebrate Tax Day with this ditty

What better way to celebrate curse Tax Day than with a little toe-tapping, finger-snapping ditty that perfectly describes how we all feel about the Internal Revenue Service?

Joy Behar roasts Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may need some ice for a few burns he sustained from former "The View" host Joy Behar, as the comedian delivered an awkward roast of the 2016 presidential hopeful.

White House

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

The most powerful selfie in the world

Joe Biden — he's just like you, and he takes selfies, too.

Obama: Republicans a threat to the right to vote

President Barack Obama slammed Republicans on Friday for supporting voter identification law and labeled the GOP as a threat to the right to vote.

Republicans renew fight against Obamacare as Sebelius resigns

FOX NEWS -- Republicans responded to news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' resignation from the Obama administration on Thursday with fresh calls to repeal the president's health care law.

Read more at FOX News.

Congress

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.

House passes Ryan's budget plan

The House on Thursday passed a 10-year Republican spending plan drafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Read more at The Washington Examiner.

Harry Reid's Koch-fueled meltdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in a Koch-fueled rage, seizing moments left and right (mostly from the left) to bash Charles and David Koch.