Chemical physicist Katy Wolf is taking a hard look at 14 of the major industries in California that use chlorinated solvents. Her mission? To estimate how much their use can be cut, thus reducing their chance to pollute. The $830,000 for Wolf's project comes from government sponsors plus private donors such as the Switzer Foundation in Ohio. It's one of the growing number of waste reduction and waste management projects attracting money from nongovernment grant-making organizations such as EDF.

"Waste is on the agenda of foundations more than ever these days," according to William Y. Brown, a grants administrator for Waste Management Inc., an internationally active waste disposal and recycling company. Brown attributes the rise in foundation interest to the same factors that alarm other thoughtful observers of life in the U.S. "Foundation directors read the newspapers," he points out. And what's in the papers these days? As Brown points...

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