1. Archive

Sorry, no recycling number for phone books

Published Oct. 16, 2005

Very soon there are going to be thousands of tons of telephone directories discarded as the new ones are distributed. In the past, I haven't been able to find any place to turn them in for recycling. It seems to me that there should be a place where telephone books can be put to some good use.

Harry Taylor

Response: We think so, too, but we're told that phone books are a problem in the recycling industry.

First of all, the bindings use hot melt glue, which is not recyclable. It would have to be removed. That process is not economically feasible because the paper used in the directories already has been recycled and, consequently, is of such low fiber content that further recycling requires the addition of a lot of virgin pulp.

Mike Outen, plant supervisor for Expert Services, a Tampa recycling firm, says there is almost no market at all for phone books. It doesn't even pay to ship them overseas, he says, because their value is not high enough to cover freight.

Do you have a compost pile? Shredded phone books mixed with rotting leaves and grass clippings eventually will turn into a nice, moisture-retaining compost to enrich your garden and flower beds.

If you throw your phone books in the trash, they will be incinerated in Pinellas County's Resource Recovery Facility, which sells the energy it produces to Florida Power. Not a perfect solution but, at present, better than landfilling them.

Money or merchandise

In September I ordered a bottle of perfume and a satin sleep shirt from Carter & Van Peel. The cost was $16.50, including postage and other expenses.

If I weren't so crippled up, I would have my canceled check duplicated, but getting around after a stroke and being 91 years old makes that rather difficult.

I would greatly appreciate your either getting my money returned or the merchandise.

Ramona Smith

Response: Carter & Van Peel is sorry for the problem with your order. It is sending you a refund check that should arrive any day.

The Mighty the Super?

We saw an act called the Super Dogs in Calgary, Canada, this past summer and are wondering if the Mighty Dogs at the Florida State Fair are the same dogs. They looked exactly the same.

Mrs. H.S. Bernstein

Response: That's because they are.

Ringmaster Herb Williams started the show seven years ago. It has become a top attraction in Canadian cities, where it is sponsored by a supermarket chain. In the United States, it is sponsored by the Carnation Co.; hence, the different names.

Eye treatment asked

Can you help me get the laser treatment I need so I can see again?

I called and called but I get no answers and each day I see less and less. Now my other eye is involved. I could see better before my operation than I do now.

No other doctor except someone at Gateway Family Practice will see me so long as I belong to the Humana Gold Plus Plan, so you are my last resort.

E. Liden

Response: Humana Health Care says its Quality Assurance Department has reviewed your medical records and determined that the care given you was appropriate. However, you may get a second opinion from another ophthalmologist by getting a referral from your primary care physician.

Sorry we couldn't be of more help. It sounds like you're paying a lot of money for something that doesn't satisfy you.


Attorney James A. Byrne points out that the statement in our Feb. 14 column _ that a durable family power of attorney authorizes one to act as agent should the donor become incapacitated _ glosses over a weakness associated with this power. In fact, Section 709.08 of the Florida Statutes states that, should a petition be filed to determine the competency of the donor or to appoint a guardian, the durable family power of attorney is temporarily suspended. Should the donor be found incompetent, the power is automatically revoked.

By contrast, Byrne points out, a living trust would continue to operate without a hitch.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, in care of City Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, to leave a recorded request for Action. Calls will be accepted anytime except between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, while messages are being transcribed.

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