After it's plowed, where does snow go?

February 3, 2011 7:14:10 PM PST
Getting main streets and side streets cleared is a great relief to a lot of folks. But the snow has to go somewhere.

How does the City of Chicago plan to dispose of the remnants of the "Blizzard of 2011?"

The snow's got to go somewhere. Trucks cart loads of snow to dumping sites around the city. The former location of the Harold Ickes public housing development on South State Street is a temporary storage site for excess snow.

"We're putting them on different sites, different abandoned sites, city property," Mayor Daley said.

"Obviously yesterday was a big day to get the Drive open, and we have already used some vacant lots to pile the snow," said Tom Byrne, Chicago Streets & Sanitation commissioner,

As the plows clear more streets, piles of snows are growing. City officials say the plan is to stockpile snow in various locations and bring in snow melters.

The city's melters are not in place yet. But area airports have been using their snow melters.

"We have been melting throughout," said Rosemarie Andolino, Chicago Aviation Commissioner. "We have 10 melters at O'Hare, three at Midway. They are in full use."

Chopper 7 HD flew over O'Hare Thursday to view the snow melters in action as they tried to clear the airfield and rest of the property.

"It is going to be a while yet for us to clear all of the necessary sites," said Andolino. "We have parking lots and a lot of pavement, not only runways, but pavement that supports a runway operation."

The city plans to bring in their three or four snow melters once that build up the snow piles.

New York City has 36 snow melters, Minneapolis has one, Boston ships snow to snow farms outside of the city, and buffalo had no snow melters.

Years ago, the city used to dump the snow in the river, but federal regulations prevent that from happening today.