Scientists have developed a new technology to neutralize hazardous waste without having to move it. Electrodes heat tainted soil to 3,600° F, destroying organic products and turning the material into a nonleaching mass. A federal lab developed the system for the government; the method is being commercialized by start-up Geosafe in Kirkland, Wash., which will conduct its first "melt" early next year.

-- Leslie Brokaw