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WHAT A WASTE! if you live in York County, Pa., perhaps you should get to know Nick Bruno. He has money to burn. On second thought, make that money that has burned. In his American Ash Recycling plant are buckets containing warped and discolored quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies found in the 434,000 tons of trash incinerated there last year. Value: $43,000, or about 10 cents a ton. The company sends the accumulated loot to the US Mint, which recasts it and sends back reimbursement.

YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL Speaking of money matters, Hong Kong's government is thinking of declaring Dec. 31 a holiday - to give banks and merchants time to wind up their 1999 accounting. They have faith in the ability of the territory's computers to avoid Y2K problems, officials say. But, just to be safe, businesses that rely on them would have an extra 24 hours to deal with possible complications.

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Survey shows what shoppers are buying for Father's Day This year Americans are spending almost twice the amount they spent in 1998 to celebrate Father's Day, according to a survey released by the International Mass Retail Association. In a poll of 1,000 adults conducted by Market Facts Inc., respondents said they would spend an average of $72 on dad - up from $40 in a similar survey a year ago. In general, respondents were much clearer about what they wanted to purchase. Last year, nearly half said they still didn't know what to buy two weeks ahead of the celebration. Here's a breakdown of the purchases people said they'd be making this year and the percentage of respondents who were planning to buy in each category:

1. Cards 73.4%

2. Apparel 40.4%

3. Dinner 35.3%

4. Sporting goods 24.9%

5. Home improvements 23.2%

6. Gardening items 14.8%

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7. Consumer electronics 14.6%

8. Other 24.2%

9. Don't know or none of the above 4.7%

Compiled by Robert Kilborn

and Lance Carden

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