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Salting Streets

The most common operation is a general ice control (GIC) when 90 salt trucks are deployed citywide to salt city streets to prevent ice from bonding to the pavement. Most of our salt trucks are equipped with underbody plow blades that can scrape small accumulations of snow from the pavement before salt is applied.

Streets are prioritized for salting (and plowing) based on traffic volume, public transportation routes and access routes to emergency service and schools. Residential streets are salted after arterial streets have been completed.

The city follows a sensible salting policy where salt is applied only where needed and in amounts appropriate for conditions. Salt may be applied only to the main streets, or only to bridges, hill stops, major intersections or slippery spots. Salt application rates are reduced on side streets that have slower travel speeds.

Truck mounted salt spreaders adjust the salt spread rate based on changes in the truck speed. This makes it possible to apply salt uniformly in urban stop and go traffic. We also mix liquid calcium chloride to road salt when temperatures drop below 24 degrees to help make salt more effective.

Abrasives like sand are often used in rural areas and smaller communities. Heavy urban traffic quickly pounds down and bonds untreated snow into hard pack that is extremely difficult to remove. It takes four to seven truckloads of sand to treat the same number of lane miles as one truckload of salt. Additionally, sand builds up in catch basins and sewers, requiring expensive spring clean up efforts.


Extra Cart Fee. Beginning January 1, 2014 households with more than one garbage cart will incur a $15 per quarter charge for each additional garbage cart.

To avoid this charge, contact the Call Center at 286-CITY (2489) to request the City remove the extra garbage carts from your property. There is no extra charge for more than one recycling cart.

Construction Related Material Charge.  There is a charge for all City residents bringing construction related material into the self help stations. This includes roofing material, brick, stones, concrete, lumber, drywall, paneling and other construction material.

The charge is $20 for up to 8 cubic yards, and $40 for 8-16 cubic yards.  (16 cubic yard maximum.)  No contractor vehicles allowed.

Bulky Changes.  City crews will only pick up one (1) cubic yard of extra material placed out for pickup on your designated collection day. This is about the size of an easy chair.  Call 286-CITY (2489) to request pickup of larger piles for a fee. See the self help page for more information



Operations Division
Room 501
Zeidler Municipal Building
841 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Preston Cole
Director of Operations