What are the impacts to the local environment when irresponsible and unprofessional snow and ice management companies misuse available products when servicing commercial properties? This can be hard to ascertain. Recent green initiatives, LEED certifications and attention to the environment has made it of paramount importance to Abraxus Snow & Ice Management to become more diligent in their education and in the use of deicing agents, while still keeping sites safe as it should for those providing snow and ice management services.
Snow contracting companies can be “green”. An outrageous statement? Not necessarily. There are several green initiatives that can make a snow and ice management company environmentally friendly even while serving properties that have vehicular and pedestrian traffic. No longer are snow and ice management companies just snowplowers. They are risk managers providing safe environments through the effective and judicious use of appropriate materials, equipment and technology. In today’s environmentally conscious world, they must be good stewards of the environments in, and around, commercial properties.
Snow and ice management contractors must be cognizant of the environment as they manage snow and ice. Traditionally, the use of deicing chemicals to keep parking lots and sidewalks safe has been limited to chloride based products. Sodium chloride (rock salt) has been the product with lowest cost and is the first choice for those managing snow and ice. Calcium chloride based blends have also been the traditional product used for deicing sidewalks.
Snow industry trade organizations have been instrumental in educating those who fight snow and ice as to how to be friendly to the environment and still provide safe environments. The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA) and the Snowfighters Institute (SFI) all have educational sessions designed to make snow and ice management contractors aware of the hazards associated with over use of such chemicals. And, it is clear to many that “education” is the key element to promote proper use of these deicing agents. Abraxus has embraced participation in these national trade organizations, as well as BOMA in the Cleveland market. Not believing in “resting on one’s laurels”, Abraxus staff are active in the national and local organizations, having realized the value of continuing education.
Frank Dedon, President of Abraxus stated “At Abraxus, our commitment to education has proven, over time, to be key in our successful servicing of our customers.” Furthermore, Dedon opined “If all snow contractors were as committed to available green initiatives as we are at Abraxus, our joint contribution to the environment will make a difference and we strongly believe in doing what is right for the environment as we serve Northern Ohio.”
In the recent past those who manufacture deicing products have developed alternative and more environmentally friendly products for use in fighting snow and ice. Cargill’s ClearLane®product is one such alternative solution for contractors and property managers alike. An enhanced deicing product such as ClearLane® can be a more cost effective solution to winter pavement maintenance. Use of this product can reduce repeat applications and the equipment corrosion and clumping problems typically found with traditional deicing rock salt. Reducing the need for repeated applications of product decreases the environmental impact.
Progressive snow and ice management contractors (like Abraxus Salt in Cleveland, Ohio) are continually educating their staff and customers on the latest advances in technology and product use. Certification programs, such as the ASCA certification program, allows employees of contracting companies to obtain knowledge and information designed to increase awareness of the issues that revolve around the misuse of available chemical products. The educated snow contractor strives to use only the minimal use of chemicals to sustain the desired safe environments on any given site.
Today’s equipment offerings are such that snow contractors can properly apply just the right amount of product, to appropriate areas (without overspray onto green space areas) so as to achieve desired results without environmental contamination. Diligence is required when educating snow contractors, property managers and suppliers about the impact of using chemicals to treat slippery and treacherous conditions.
Abraxus Snow Management and Abraxus Salt are active members in the above referenced snow industry organizations. By continually participating in available educational programs, they can better serve customers and the environment. Such actions constitute a level of responsibility all good snow and ice management contractors strive to achieve.
The public and property managers are the beneficiaries of the development of environmentally friendly products, such as ClearLane®. And, when applied by properly educated snow contractors, like the team at Abraxus, using up-to-date equipment everybody wins. Sites can be kept safe for those who have to visit the sites, and the environmental impact can be measured in reduced pollution and contamination.