- Every year tourists flock to New York City’s Times Square to ring in the New Year. But this year, after the 1 million guests went home and a ton of confetti was released, the city was stuck with 40 tons of garbage to clean up, sanitation crews worked until 8AM; the Associated Press reports.
- Following the massive coal ash spill in East Tennessee, nearby water supplies have tested high for arsenic, lead, chromium and other toxic metals, ranging 2 to 300 times higher than acceptable drinking water standards, even as far as 2 miles downstream; The New York Times investigates.
- A Swedish town is set to recycle heat from a local crematorium. Cremating human remains releases toxins, such as mercury from dental fillings, and in order to clean this gas it must first be cooled. So recovering this heat can be used to feed the public heating system; from TreeHugger.
- Scientists have invented cement that absorbs earth-warming carbon dioxide. Traditional cement actually produces 5% of the world’s total carbon emissions. But this new formulation uses magnesium silicates and eats large amounts of carbon dioxide as it hardens; via The Guardian.
- The Great Barrier Reef is dying. At the current pace, researchers fear all new growth will stop by 2050. Since 1990, robust corals have slowed in growth by 14%. Scientists cite warming sea temperatures and ocean acidification for the decline; The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
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