Traverse City News and Events

City To Use Eco-Friendly Alternative To Road Salt

By Beth Milligan | Dec. 24, 2020

The City of Traverse City will use a product called Beet Heet - an eco-friendly alternative to road salt - on city roads this winter.

The Traverse City Department of Public Services “explored products regionally and nationally that provide safe roadways and can reduce the use of salt and sand,” according to a city release. Recommendations for an ice-fighting product called Beet Heet were made based on research and conversations with management officials from Emmet County, MI; Sturgis, MI; Rochester, NY; Erie, PA; and Syracuse, NY.

“Traverse City residents hold tremendous value in the quality of our natural world/environment and our water quality,” says DPS Director Frank Dituri. “The Beet Heet product received excellent reviews from various municipalities and agencies that our department contacted. We look forward to launching a product that continues to make an impact on a more sustainable future.” 

Beet Heet is not to be confused with beet juice or various alcohol-based products. Residents may notice differences from the current use of pure salt (white in color). The product, which is more water soluble than salt, is described as having a darker color and a mild aroma of coffee or chocolate. The product is more efficient at melting ice, and is effective to much lower temperatures than the salt the city currently uses.

“There are immediate environmental benefits as a result of the reduction in the amount of salt and sand needed to keep roads safe,” according to the release. “Beet Heet is much less corrosive than salt and is rapidly bio-degradable. Furthermore, the efficacy of its use translates into a substantial cost savings to the city when compared to the status quo.”

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