Montreal

Laval to use beets to keep roads clear this winter

The City of Laval is planning to use sugar beet extract to keep its roads clear of ice and snow this winter — but don't worry, it won't leave a purple stain.

Sugar beet extract can withstand temperatures up to -30 C, project director says

Laval Mayor Marc Demers says the average snowstorm costs his city about $5 million. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

The City of Laval is planning to use beets to keep its roads clear of ice and snow this winter — but don't worry, it won't leave a purple stain.

A spokesperson for the city says it will be using the extract of white beets. The pilot project is part of an attempt to cut down on the cost of snow removal services and make it more environmentally friendly.

"An average storm costs about $5 million," Mayor Marc Demers told Radio-Canada. 

"There are savings to be there, and improving service too."

The city has also set up a committee to analyze what's being done in other cities and make recommendations.

Toronto and Halifax are among those who use beets to keep their roads clear.

Project director Nicolas Moukhaiber says sugar beet extract can withstand temperatures up to -30 C. 

He said the product will be added to the abrasive the city usually uses, which will decrease the amount of salt on the roads. 

with files from Radio-Canada's Francis Labbé

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