Environment: Money Munchers

America is so rich that it has money to burn. In fact, the Treasury Department and most of the nation's 36 Federal Reserve Banks and branches are now incinerating (and then replacing) worn-out bills at the rate of $9 billion a year. The department has now faced up to the fact that this conflagration is a source of air pollution.

With impeccable environmental concern, Treasury renounced incinerators in favor of pulverizers—machines that munch money, then pound the shredded paper into compact packages. The first pulverizers will probably be installed in the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank in about six months. Within five years,...

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