PEI

Molasses spill causes 'sticky situation' in Charlottetown

When you hear about a molasses spill, you may think of baking cookies or eating biscuits. But Charlottetown's Agro Co-op had a bigger spill on their hands Thursday — or rather on their parking lot.

Molasses overflowed into a parking lot

Scott Clark, of Clark Septic & Drain, overlooks a molasses spill in a Charlottetown parking lot. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

When you hear about a molasses spill, you may think of baking cookies or eating biscuits. But Charlottetown's Agro Co-op had a bigger spill on their hands Thursday — or rather on their parking lot.

The Co-op uses molasses for mixing different types of feed. Mark Scott, an employee, said the tank overflowed sometime overnight and by morning a large portion of the parking lot was covered in molasses.

Scott said he's never dealt with this problem before, so when he got the message this morning he wasn't quite sure how to proceed but a clean up crew was quickly organized.

The molasses spill being cleaned up. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

Although Scott hasn't been in this situation before, Trisha Viaene the manager at Riverview Market said she has.

"We usually enter from Exhibition Drive, and I saw all the tape there and I saw the mess on the ground and knew it was molasses right away," Viaene said. "It's not the first time it's happened."

Viaene let her customers know about the large spill over social media — but said most people coming into the shop haven't been bothered by the mess.

"Everyone's commenting that it smells pretty good outside, biscuits will sell out today quickly," Viaene said. "It's just a funny little accident that people can laugh about for sure."

"Try not to drive through it, try not to walk through it," Viaene cautioned. "It'll be a sticky mess."

Tire tracks in molasses painted the parking lot. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

The molasses is being cleaned with water and vacuum trucks. It's non-toxic, so it poses no threat to the environment, Scott said.

Scott Clark, from Clark Septic and Drain, said this is his first time cleaning up the difficult substance.

"It definitely sounded like a bit of a sticky situation," said Clark about receiving the call this morning.

The molasses is being cleaned with hot water and a vacuum truck. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

The hot water breaks the molasses down, allowing the vacuum truck to more easily suck it up.

"I'm not sure what it's going to be like coming off the truck over there, but we'll find out," Clark said.

Once the molasses is cleaned it will be taken to a farmer's manure pile to be disposed of, Clark said.

Scott said there's no need for his customers to worry. 

"We're getting a new shipment of molasses in and will still be making lots of feed."

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With files from Brittany Spencer

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