Joe's Lawn and Snow Environmental Leadership Award

2015 Environmental Leadership Award Recipients
14th Annual Road Salt Symposium
February 5, 2015

Joe’s Lawn and Snow: Joe Mather, Robert Tarango, Evan Borseth and Michael Gorshe

Joe’s Lawn and Snow is a small lawn and winter maintenance company located in the Twin Cities and has been in business for 14 years. Joe’s Lawn and Snow plows and treats both sidewalks and parking lots.
Prior to attending an MPCA Winter Maintenance training class in the winter of 2013-2014, they relied on the application rates listed on the deicers and did not calibrate their equipment. Practices that were implemented by the company after completing training include:
• Purchased new spreader
• Calibrated equipment
• Made a “bowl” to catch any excess salt at spinner and reuse this
• Made modifications to spreader to get more even spread and prevent salt piles
• Reduced application rates
• Tested application rates and results and kept refining
• Purchased hand-held and truck mounted temperature sensors
• Use temperature to help determine rates and materials
• Identify drainage patterns and appropriate snow storage areas prior to winter
• Use sediment traps to contain solids in runoff and they clean out manholes
• Experimented with anti-icing using liquids and will continue to experiment (cont.)

They were not able to reliably calibrate and adjust their old spreader so they purchased a new one. Tests were conducted in parking lots to determine the best application rates. Before winter, they mark the edges of their parking lots with blue poles and use a different color to indicate where snow should be stacked.

Joe’s Lawn and Snow has a covered salt storage area on one of their properties. It has concrete walls, a “tarp-type” top and a subfloor and capture drain. Currently Joe and his staff order salt by the truckload on an as-needed basis, rather than keeping a stockpile. They also do spring and fall sweeping. With the changes made, they were able to reduce their salt usage by about 50% without reducing their results.
They expected to use 20 tons of salt and only used 9 tons after incorporating the knowledge they gained from winter maintenance training.

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