Less trash sent to landfills

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality reports that the amount of trash deposited into state landfills by the state fell by 6% from 2006 to 2007. Refuse from other states and Canada declined by 10%.

Housing market bottoms out

According to management consulting firm FMI, single-family residential construction was expected to reflect a 25% drop for 2007 compared with the previous year, but that same figure should rise about 2% this year.

Sustainable development conference scheduled

The Urban Land Institute will host its annual Green Conference April 7-8 in Charlotte, N.C. The event will explore certification programs, the effects of government mandates, and best practices in green building. For more information or to register, visit www.uli.org.

ACI releases new standard

The American Concrete Institute's recently released ACI 318-08, “Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary,” includes several changes from the 2005 edition, including shifted design requirements for earthquake-resistant structures and changes in the Concrete Quality, Mixing, and Placing section. Visit www.concrete.org to learn more.

Hot water = higher lead risk

According to The Journal of Environmental Health, hot tap water dissolves contaminants more quickly than cold water, so the likelihood of finding lead in higher-temperature water from a faucet—especially in older homes—is increased. In fact, boiling water can increase lead concentrations. While the risk is relatively small, the EPA recommends using cold tap water for drinking and cooking.

EPA offers e-cycling ‘tool kit'

If your department is looking to foster electronics recycling in your community, the EPA's “Plug In to eCycling” tool kit includes advice on how to set up and conduct recycling and reuse programs, and how to hold drop-off events. To download the PDF, visit www.epa.gov.