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Moving away from road salt could save city millions

The harsh winter sent Ottawa millions of dollars over budget in street clearing operations and one company believes switching even a fraction of the road salt used for a greener product could save the city lots of money.

Mark Watson, the inventor of EcoTraction, a green alternative to salt that doesn't contain harmful toxins found in salt, told CFRA Ottawa stands to save over $10-million every year if they replace even 10 per cent of the salt.

"What we're saying is that the city should really be considering alternatives to chloride-based ice melters because they're causing huge damage to the city's infrastructure, whether it be bridges, the roads, the parks and even our water supply," he said. "With seven rivers through the city all that salt doesn't go away, it ultimately drains and pours into our seven rivers."

Watson is calling on the city to conduct an assessment of the full life-cycle cost of salt on the city's infrastructure.

He said a product like EcoTraction is easy to use and clean up. He added the city would need to use a far smaller amount of the product on the road than road salt.

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