Grape Pulp And Snow Plows: Swiss Firm Clears Winter Roads With Winemaking Waste
Alcohol, apples and seashells… Swiss authorities have tried almost everything to clear snow off roads and sidewalks. This time, a Geneva-based startup claims it can cut down the use of salt by 70% by replacing it with 'Snowfree', a produ
Why does snow melt so much faster in vineyards than elsewhere? This remark got a Swiss perfumer thinking and ultimately led to the creation of Snowfree: small pellets made of grape "waste" – seeds and pulp remaining after the fruit has been pressed into wine — each containing a small quantity of salt.
The startup company that sells Snowfree claims that the product is considerably more environmentally friendly than pure salt, which tends to damage roads and buildings over the long haul. The product also offers a good way to recycle agricultural waste, and could lead Swiss authorities to use 70% less salt for snow removal.
The product, already tested in France, is 15 to 20% more expensive than regular salt, but the Swiss company claims that it lasts significantly longer.
Read the full story in French by Marie-Laure Chapatte
Photo – graybee
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