DEAR SUN SPOTS: I love reading your column every morning. My question is: When the street sweepers come by every spring sweeping up all the dirt and salt from the winter, what do they do with it? Is it recycled? Tossed? Thanks for clearing this up for me. — Carol Guyton, [email protected]

ANSWER: For an answer to this question, Sun Spots emailed the Public Works departments of Auburn and Lewiston. In Lewiston, David Jones wrote:

“The sand and other materials swept up from the streets in the spring are used as junk fill. We have a list of approved fill sites around the city we use, or we put the collected material at the quarry off River Road.

“Property owners wanting to fill a small site can apply through Public Works. If they have a large area to fill, they would need to apply through the Planning and Code Enforcement Department.”

The Auburn answer was very similar. Tracy Pinkham, the information assistant at Auburn Public Works, got an answer from her bosses for Sun Spots: 

“Sand that is removed by the street sweepers in the spring is used as a fill material. Residents of Auburn can apply for a fill permit and, if the area is approved, they can receive the sweepings from Public Works, so technically this could be considered recycling.

“As far as the sand being used again to provide traction during a snow event, it ends up being pulverized by vehicles, so it is too fine to be reused for that purpose.”

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to the Jan. 27 request, I am co-owner of That Pink Van ( We travel to homes to groom dogs and cats. — Rebecca Whalen, 207-838-2547

ANSWER: This is the second batch of responses to this query. Sun Spots also published some on Feb. 3. She had no idea there were so many at-home pet groomers!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Recently in your column someone wanted to know if anyone did pet grooming in homes. I came across an advertisement for Purple Paws, traveling certified groomers, on a place mat. You can find them at or 207-844-0821. — J.P., Auburn

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am replying to Beth, who needs a dog groomer to come to her home in Greene. I have 400 hours of pet grooming schooling from A+ Pet Grooming Academy and have worked at Petco.

After receiving many requests to groom pets at their homes, I have come to find great enjoyment doing so. Their dog is more comfortable, and it makes it easier for clients who do not have transportation. I have many references. — Tammy Therrien, 207-530-0758

ANSWER: One of those references also wrote to the column.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: On Jan. 27 Beth of Greene wrote, asking for information on dog groomers who come to your home. I know of one: Tammy Therrien of Tammy’s Pet Stylist Service, who grooms my friend “Moose,” a 3-year-old poodle mix. — Nancy Hughes, Lewiston

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I love your column. I noticed that you often send people to the Consumer Reports website. You could send them to the library instead, where they could read Consumer Reports and other buying guides, and they wouldn’t have to pay any fees. — No Name, Jay

ANSWER: Excellent suggestion!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am asking Sun Spots’ readers to please send Valentines to the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council in care of City Hall (27 Pine St., Lewiston, ME 04240).

These wonderful teen volunteers do projects and hold programs that benefit all of us and help them learn about our community. I hope these faces of hope will stay in Maine or return after their education, run for City Council, open a business, etc.

I know a seventh-grader who can’t wait to be old enough to join them and who has ambitions to become our mayor someday.

They are appreciated by many, but we need to let them know we don’t take them for granted. Even a group card or note from your neighborhood or place of business would be great. Thank you. — Jeanne Raymond, [email protected]

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.