Verbier neige

Recycling snow in Verbier

During the winter, ski resorts have to deal with impressive quantities of snow, removing them from roads and transporting them to set locations. Multiple truck journeys are made to transport the snow, which is neither recycled nor treated. The aim of this project is to recycle the roughly 100,000 tonnes of snow cleared every year from the ski resort of Verbier. The municipality of Val de Bagnes has made its territory available to investigate this issue.

Under the leadership of David Crettenand of RedElec Technologies SA, a consortium of Valais companies is looking into digging snow storage pits in places where there is a high demand for cooling in summer. Heat exchangers will be used to cool the installations in summer, thereby saving energy. The system will also make it possible to collect some of the snow for melting and, ideally, to re-use the run-off water. Before it is re-used for as yet undefined purposes such as irrigation for example, the water will be treated to make it drinking-water quality, removing salt, metals from brake wear, fine particulates from tyres and other micropollutants.

This project still faces many challenges, but the consortium’s flexibility and creative ideas are enabling it to make progress. It is interesting to note that currently, no towns or ski resorts recycle their snow. There appear to be many possible applications for this in Switzerland and throughout the Alps.

Who is working on this project now?


BlueArk Entremont SA
Place de Curala 5
1934 Le Châble

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