This past weekend, snow and ice was treated with salt instead of cinders, at the request of the City Council.
Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill said he suggested the city stop using cinders after hearing numerous complaints about the mess they create.
He also brought up potential environmental concerns as another reason to not use cinders, saying that washing them into the city's storm sewer system can't be a good thing. On the other hand, Jill Stedem of Columbia Public Works noted that "there's nothing that's guaranteed to be environmentally friendly at this point."
It is unclear whether or not this will be a permanent change. Cinders are free, while salt costs about $60 per ton. The city sets aside $630,689 for snow removal materials.
The city is also looking into using beet juice to fight off snow and ice.
Have you noticed a difference in the streets since the city switched to salt for snow removal?