Winter Dill-emma: Bergen County, N.J. Turns to Pickle Juice To Melt Snow

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If there ever was a sign that we’ve had more than enough snow this winter, here it is.

Bergen County, New Jersey administrators found themselves in quite a pickle this winter. With their plowing budget quickly running dry, they’ve come up with a juicy solution.

Bergen County is just across the Hudson from New York – and despite being among the wealthiest counties in the nation, this winter has busted their budget for snow removal. Road salt comes at a hefty premium, and being only halfway through winter, they’ve invested in a new, and much cheaper, snow melter: pickle juice. (See pictures of snowstorms hitting the east coast — again.)

While it’s unclear if the mixture ever once contained the delectable deli snack, it’s a green salty liquid that executives say melts snow and ice just as well as solid salt. And the price can’t be beat: the briny mixture costs just 7 cents a gallon, compared to $63 a ton for salt. Quick math works the pickle juice out to roughly $16 per ton, a substantial savings (though commenters on CBS’s story seem to think the math is a bit more complicated).

“We actually pre-spray the properties, the sidewalks, the parking lots as a preventative before the snow is uncontrollable,” Bergen County Public Works Director Joe Crifasi told CBS. Bergen County has already used up $3 million of its $4 million snow budget, so hopefully the salty mixture can help them trudge through the rest of winter.

And with all the delis in New Jersey, we’re sure they’ll have no shortage of their secret snow-melting weapon.

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