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Peterborough residents face shortage of de-icing salt as winter weather continues

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WATCH: Residents of Peterborough can't find enough salt to melt the ice around their homes – Mar 4, 2019

Peterborough residents looking for salt or ice melt at their local hardware stores have recently found themselves out of luck.

“Normally, this is full of ice melt and rock salt and salt-and-sand mix,” said Drew Merrett, owner of the Home Hardware and Building Centre on Lansdowne Street West, gesturing to an empty shelf.

READ MORE: Kitchener blames salt shortage for icy roads

But this hasn’t been a normal winter. Even though it’s early March, there’s still a lot of ice on local streets and sidewalks, which has put a strain on the supply of traditional ice-melting materials.

“I thought the season was behind us, and then a lot of our manufacturers aren’t even producing or bagging any more right now,” Merrett said.

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One alternative is calcium chloride, but at $20 a bag, it’s almost triple the price of salt and is not safe for pets.

Merrett says he’s heard of some people even using water softener salt to deal with the ice.

READ MORE: Road salt shortage? Alternatives for fighting icy surfaces

The city’s public works crews, however, seem to have no issue with their de-icing salt supply.

“We’ve seen no issues with our salt deliveries (from Bowmanville). We’re still getting salt daily as needed. We’ve gone through a standard amount for our conditions this year,” said John Czerniawski, a supervisor with the Peterborough Public Works Division.

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