Depending on where you live, there is so much freaking snow on the ground now, and there's more on the way, and I guess you just have to live in this icy hellscape forever and ever. If you're in a big city, they're plowing it as best they can. But where do they actually put it?

It's only a dumb question until you realize it's one that has to be answered. Here in New York, they dump the snow into giant mobile hot tubs to melt it, then filter it and dump it in the sewer.

Advertisement

Boston uses similar snow melters, as well as snow farms—essentially dumping grounds where the snow is piled up until it melts on its own. But Boston's near capacity:

More snow farms are being designated, but it may not be enough. So they're considering just dumping the stuff in the harbor, which is an environmental nightmare they'd prefer to avoid, but may have no other choice after another foot-plus comes this weekend.

Advertisement

The video up top is how they do it in Montreal, which gets on average more than 80 inches of snow per year. It requires teamwork: a snowblower vehicle swallows the already-plowed snow, and deposits it into a dump truck driving alongside. When the truck is full, it drives off, and another one slots in its place. The snow is then taken to dump sites, to be stored until warmer weather, when the meltwater is recaptured and treated. It's an elegant solution, requiring coordination by city sanitation and the cooperation of its residents to clear the streets, and it could only exist in a place that has to deal with this shit every damn winter.