Archive for the ‘FAQs’ Category

Where to recycle everything — including the kitchen sink (v. 2.0)

July 7, 2008


Curbside recycling starts in Fayetteville this week.

But what exactly can — and can’t — you put in those blue cans?

And what if you don’t have — and can’t get — a blue can?

And where can you recycle everything else?



I have an idea!

March 5, 2008


idea.gifThanks to a question from M.H.*, who didn’t see a recent Live Wire column that touched on this subject, I’ll post the particulars on how to dispose of your “green” light bulbs — the curly compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that green-minded folks are encouraging us to buy to help conserve energy.

(Wonder if/when curly light bulbs will replace the old faithfuls in depictions of people coming up with an idea, as above.)

CFLs use lots less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs but they aren’t flawlessly green. That’s because they contain tiny amounts of mercury, a toxic element.

So what do you do with them when they finally burn out? (more…)

Where to recycle everything — including the kitchen sink

February 6, 2008

In today’s Live Wire, M.H., who lives in Van Story Hills in the city, wanted to know where to take stacks-papers.jpgher stacks of newspapers.

So that’s the info I gave, along with listing a couple of Web sites that can help others figure out where to take their recyclables.

But this topic is always coming up.

So I thought it might be helpful to, er, recycle related info from past columns and put it all here in one place, as a reference tool for anyone who’s interested in recycling. Besides the usual stuff, I’ve included information about options for recycling everything from cell phones to the kitchen sink to encyclopedias.


Some — but not all — of this info will be unnecessary for most residents of the city once curbside recycling starts on July 7. If you live in a single-family house in the city, you’ll have curbside pickup in your city-issued blue bin. (More info below, at the bottom of “The Usual Suspects” item.)

Otherwise, or if you have more recycling than your bin can handle or want to recycle before your pickup day or wonder whether you can recycle items not covered by the curbside program, read on: (more…)

Encyclopedic knowledge

February 1, 2008

encyclopedias.jpgIf your house is like mine was when I was growing up, you’ve got a set or two of aging, dusty encyclopedias taking up a lot of shelf space. 

And now that you’ve got a computer or three and a high-speed Internet connection, you’d much prefer to go online to grab your information about photosynthesis or Sigmund Freud or the Mongol empire or whatever. (more…)

Inside my TV eye

January 30, 2008

I never stop to wonder why… they’re gonna switch to digital TV, to digital TV….old-tv.jpg

OK, that’s a really, really bad takeoff on Karl Wallinger’s lyrics to a really great (danceable and catchy) song called Way Down Now, by World Party. (Not Karl Wallinger, btw –> )

But I couldn’t get the opening of the song out of my mind this morning after I got two press releases about the scary digital TV airwaves revolution that’s looming.


Scary because there’s this huge mass of information about this big change that’s planned for Feb. 17 of next year and it just confuses the ever-loving heck out of those of us who’ve happened to have heard of it. Do we need new TVs? Do we need converter boxes? Do I need to upgrade my cable/satellite service? Will I be able to pick up a signal off an antenna? What should I dooooo???? Agh!!! (more…)

How do you post on this thing?

January 28, 2008

Larry e-mailed to say he checked out the blog but couldn’t figure out how to ask a question_mark_270×251.jpgquestion here or post a comment.

“Doesn’t a blog have a way to ask?” he asks. “Somehow, I thought a blog was a two-way deal, like a forum.”

It is indeed. While could-be, would-be and should-be commentators/questioners/ etcetera-ers can’t create new entries on this blog, they can and should post their thoughts in comments beneath an existing entry. For example, under this particular entry, where it (currently) says “no comments” (sob!), you’d click on that link. (Much after-the-fact note: Comments have now been added. So just click on the “comments” link. The rest of the process is as follows below.)

You’d then open a page in which you could write a comment or question. In order to post that, though, you’d have to give a name — Larry, for example. Or maybe L.J. Or even something like Mr. Question Man, if you were feeling a bit superheroish but with a penchant for anonymity. So that’s the name part.

You’d also have to give your e-mail address. But! Not to fear. It wouldn’t be published. Promise.

You could also give a Web site if you wanted. That’s up to you.

Then you could write your message and hit “submit” and, ta da!, it would appear.

So you can ask questions or make comments like that. Or you can e-mail me. (To e-mail me, click on the “me” link that you just read past a second ago; you know, back in the second sentence of this paragraph. Or type in my e-mail address — It’s all good. 🙂

Meanwhile, to find an item that was previously published on the blog — or to see if there’s been any mention of a particular topic — just plug a keyword into the search box and click on “search.” For example, if you search for “recycle,” you turn up three previous posts that contain that word (as of May 29, when I’m adding this update). But note: If you search for “recycling,” you turn up five posts (including the previous three). So if there are permutations of a particular word, you might want to search them all.

Also, if you encounter “Error 404” and “Not Found” when you click on the “previous entries” link at the bottom of the blog page, then click on a date in the calendar over there on the right side or on the name of the month. Those are other ways to get to previous entries on the blog.

Aren’t credit reports supposed to be free?

January 23, 2008

Q: When I went to school, the definition of “free” meant you didn’t have to pay anything to get something. But those TV commercials advertising a free_sign_med.gif“free” credit report and that professor with all his “free” things but the first thing they ask for when you call is your credit card number and it all costs you. Aren’t they violating some kind of law? Maybe I’ve just outgrown the English language or the English language has outgrown me. — J.G., Fayetteville

A: Sure, all that stuff is free*.

It’s just the *associated stuff that will cost you if you forget to cancel before your free trial period runs out.

And that’s where the gotta-give-your-credit-card-number comes in. (more…)

How can I give/get a bicycle to/from the Bicycle Man?

January 23, 2008

A: mathis-bikes.jpgFirst, the giving part. 

Bicycle Man Moses Mathis has long taken donations of old bikes and, with his elves, refurbished them to give to needy kids at Christmas. (We’re pretty sure — ok, positive — that he welcomes donations of new bikes that don’t need work, too.) (more…)

Please! I’ve got to know how to write Oprah!

January 22, 2008

Q: How can I write or e-mail Oprah Winfrey? This is very important. — B.K., Fayettevilleoprah.jpg

A : As we’ve said a bunch of times, Oprah doesn’t accept letters sent the old-fashioned way.

But you can e-mail her. Go to this link, pick the e-mail category that best suits you, fill out the associated form and submit it.

What can I do with my old cell phone?

January 22, 2008

cell-phone.jpgA: Give it to a charity or good cause. Or sell it.

Some groups provide old cell phones to victims of domestic violence in case they need to call 911 quickly. The phones don’t have to be connected to a service provider to do that. They just have to be charged. (more…)