Appliances: Wasting Away

Whirlpool last week introduced nationally what it plugs as the first major new home appliance since the clothes dryer hit the market 30 years ago. It is a product for the age of ecology: the Trash Masher. The machine will gobble up 60 gal. of garbage, then spit it out in a neatly packaged, nicely deodorized 9-in. by 16-in. by 17-in. bundle.

The Masher, which looks like a kissing cousin to a small filing cabinet, has been under development for three years It is now deemed completely safe. A key—presumably kept out of reach of children and would-be suicides—must be...

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