DEAR SUN SPOTS: Where can I dispose of my old cellphone and charger? — No name, Auburn

ANSWER: Before you dispose of or recycle your phone, it’s recommended that you remove any personal information from your device. It’s not required, but it is a good idea. You can consult your cellphone user manual or go to the manufacturer’s website to find out how to do it. If you don’t want to bother, the memory on the phone is destroyed during the recycling process.

You can then take your phone, as well as the charger and any old single-use or rechargeable batteries you may have hanging around the house, to a Call2Recycle drop-off. Call2Recycle, a company that has locations throughout North America, accepts all types of cellphones regardless of model, make, size or age. In Auburn, you can drop your items off at Lowe’s at 650 Turner St., Best Buy at 649 Turner St. or Home Depot, 149 Mount Auburn Ave. In Lewiston, Call2Recycle dropoffs are at Staples at 855 Lisbon St. and at the Solid Waste Facility on 424 River Road.

Cellphones can often be refurbished for resale. You may even be able to get a little immediate cash to put toward a new phone or something else for yourself. There are ecoATMs at the Auburn Mall near the customer service desk. Go to www.ecoATM.com for instructions and to see if your phone is a good candidate for this program.

If you would like to donate your cellphone to a good cause, there is Cell Phones For Soldiers (www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com). According to the website, their dropoff is at MC Cellular at 236 Main St., Lewiston, 241-0216. It’s best to call ahead.

Another good cause is HopeLine. Simply drop your phone off at Verizon Wireless at 352 Center St. in Auburn (784-3330). It will be refurbished or recycled. The phones are sold and Verizon Wireless uses the proceeds to fund nonprofit agencies and to purchase other wireless phones for victims of domestic violence.

Please chime in, readers, if you have other places to add to the Rolodex. I’d especially like to hear about nonprofits that can benefit from your phone donation.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I would like to share what happened to my mother, my daughter and me when we were at the Chinese buffet across from Cumberland Farms on Sabattus Street on Tuesday, Sept. 26. When we were finishing our meal, the waitress came over to let us know that another customer had paid for our lunch! We are very grateful to you, whoever you are, not only for lunch but also for showing us that there are still kind people in this world! We will “pay it forward!” Thank you so very much! — Lillian, Corey and Pat, no town

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