The news of the impending salt shortage is out. After an active winter of precipitation last year that already depleted salt supplies before the spring, along with the unexpected ice storm in April which spanned several days, a recent press release from Landscape Ontario points out that the current effects of the salt inventory shortage are real and being realized in the Central to Mid-West United States as well as throughout the entire province of Ontario.
Here’s how we got here:
Goderich, Ontario is home to the world’s largest mine producing road salt. But according to Total Landscape Care, after a 12-week strike from April to July, the amount of salt harvested has been reduced by almost 40 percent which significantly diminishes the distribution to those who work in snow management. According to the Independent Free Press, government municipalities like the town of Halton Hills have a set contract with their salt supplier that will last until the 2021-2022 season. These contracts take precedence over private landscape contractors and commercial owners due to liability issues on sidewalks and public areas.
Cargill, another salt mine in Cleveland, Ohio, also has depleted salt reserves due to a leak that disrupted their ability to extract the salt. Because of these unfortunate circumstances, salt prices have already almost doubled. And those companies who do not have enough salt secured before the winter will see even greater price increases from salt suppliers as more and more private companies scramble to purchase the needed amounts through the long winter months, thus passing those price increases onto their customers. Salt is currently being brought in from all over the world to try to meet the demand, which is further adding to the already higher costs.
Here is what we’re doing at Garden Grove:
With our dedication to best practices and salt supply management, along with our investment in relationships within Landscape Ontario, the Snow and Ice Association (SIMA) and the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA), we maintain current and accurate information on matters and are able to plan months in advance so that we can be proactive concerning our commitment to serving our clients better.
As a Garden Grove team we are working very closely with industry and salt producers/suppliers to secure the necessary salt inventory resources needed as we prepare for this coming winter, which is including sourcing salt from unconventional sources at higher prices.
While we know that salt is essential to ensure safety, we continue to work on creative solutions to curb our consumption and need for salt. For years now we’ve been working to increase our ability and use of liquid deicer’s by either mixing them with bulk material or, in some cases, replacing salt with them altogether. Our snow teams have the appropriate training, experience, and expertise to properly administer salt and deicing products and equipment as needed for our client properties. Proper use ensures the correct application rate is applied to pavement at the correct time, helping to eliminate waste and extend the life of our existing salt resources. We are also working with our clients to confirm service areas to eliminate waste, as well as developing a multi-pronged strategy involving both technology and best-management practices that will ensure we can properly handle everyones needs.
We are committed to working tirelessly through these challenges to ensure the success of our client properties and relationships. In the coming weeks we will be sharing more on the status of our salt supply and what we have done to secure resources at updated pricing for this coming winter. We look forward to our continued partnership with our clients and working together to win the winter of the 2018-19 season!
Your Garden Grove Snow Team!
Written by David Lammers
David Lammers is the president of Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. David may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-996-1099.