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Milwaukee Will Fight Slippery Roads With Cheese Brine

Handmade cheese maturing in brine
Handmade cheese maturing in brinePhotograph by Bastian Parschau/Getty Images

Milwaukee might not salt its icy roads this winter. Instead, the city plans to cover its potentially hazardous motorways with cheese brine, the salt-and-water solution used in the production of cheese. The brine, considered a wasteful byproduct, is apparently cheaper and much more abundant than rock salt. (Well, at least it is in Wisconsin, the country’s leader in cheese production.)

Milwaukee got the idea from the folks in Polk County, Wis., who’ve been using cheese brine on their roads since 2008. Bloomberg Businessweek tracked down Moe Norby, the technical support manager at Polk County’s Highway Department, who pioneered the use of brine as a highway safety measure.