Environment news

Now that Lafayette plans to buy new trash bins for residents, city officials are trying to figure out how to squeeze as much profit from the venture as possible.

The current small, blue recycling bins will be replaced with larger toters, like those used for garbage. The city will also be decrease the size of garbage toters from 96 to 64 gallons. Mayor Tony Roswarski (D) says he would like to sell the old bins if he can. 

G.E. Long / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonmetal/4902096710/

An Indy-based meteorologist says Indiana won’t get the severe storms and tornadoes the West got, but the same system will likely bring thunderstorms over the weekend.

National Weather Service Meteorologist John Hendrickson says the best chance for bad weather is early next week.

“I don’t see anything with a real big risk of severe across our area, but there’ll be a few strong thunderstorms and it looks like the chances of severe might be a little bit better towards Monday,” Hendrickson says.

Paul Falardeau / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pfala/

Indiana’s air quality is improving, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, according to an annual American Lung Association report released Wednesday.

The report indicates Indiana has reduced the amount of long-term soot pollution in its air since last year. Counties, though, are reporting more days that include a few hours of high soot levels and more days with high ozone levels—things they say can be dangerous to people’s health.

Brian Gratwicke / NatureServe

Biologists say it’s not likely to be a big year for fish kills, but fishing a local pond is the best way to check its health.

Department of Natural Resources officials say the warmer temperatures could reveal the amount of winter fish kills.

When snow and ice piles on top of the pond, sunlight is cut off, plants produce less oxygen and fish die. Biologist Tom Bacula says some bodies of water in Northern Indiana had up to 20 inches of ice on them this year – and may still be recovering from last year’s harsh winter.

Bill Shaw / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougiebeck/

House Speaker Brian Bosma Tuesday halted a bill opponents say significantly reduces incentives for Hoosiers to use alternative energy for their homes.

Proposed legislation made changes to the system by which utility companies purchase excess electricity from Hoosiers who produce energy through alternative means, such as solar panels.  Utilities would buy that energy at a lower price, and be able to charge alternative energy users fixed monthly fees for using the energy grid.