In a bid to reduce the amount of salt stolen from roadside bins, Croydon Council have come up with the bright idea of dyeing the salt, making it instantly recognisable if someone has stolen it for private use.
The Council hope that by dyeing the 125 tonnes of salt used each year bright colours people will be dissuaded from stealing it – either for private use, or to sell on to crooks.
The salt is being experimented with at present, trying all sorts of dyes to establish how practical it will be. To date results have been mixed and a muddy shade of green is the best that has been achieved. The trial is therefore continuing.
This solution is being put into practice after many years of the 550 Croydon salt bins being empty on snowy days, despite being regularly topped up. The council wants to see whether it would be possible easily to identify where salt that is meant for the roads has been taken away for use elsewhere.
Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for highways and the environment said: “Whenever we get snow in Croydon we’re told that the salt has either been stolen from bins or taken for someone’s drive. This means it’s not available for spreading on the roads to keep them safe. If our salt stocks could be dyed a bright colour people will think twice about how it should be used.”
He continued: “We’ve been experimenting to see if there’s a practical, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution that we could pursue on a large scale. We think we’re probably the only council in the country thinking along these lines right now – but we know that this is a problem faced by many other places.”