Environment: The Rise of Rejasing

The U.S. has come a long way since Ben Franklin preached thrift and New Englanders saved everything from string to scraps of cloth for patchwork quilts. In frugal foreign eyes, 20th century Americans are stupendous wasters: a people so rich that they think no more of tearing down 30-year-old skyscrapers than of tossing beer cans out car windows. Now a turnabout seems at hand. Goaded to recycle the nation's mounting garbage, individuals as well as industries have spotted new charms in old discards—cans, bottles, light bulbs. Thousands of Americans are enjoying an effort that bears the acronymic description "rejase"—"re-using junk...

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