DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Auburn PAL Center at 24 Chestnut St. is gearing up for its annual Halloween Haunted House Celebration. This year we are reaching out to see if anyone may have gently used costumes, motion sensors, and/or SCARY props they would be willing to donate. They can be dropped off at the center from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Ask for Shawn. Thank you in advance. Please note we need SCARY!!

— Janice, no town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: What do stores do with the plastic grocery bags we return? Are these bags recycled? Is it OK to put other clean plastics in with these, such as bread bags, zippered bags and plastic wrap? Lewiston’s recycling website specifically says not to put these in recycling. I’ve been told that plastics such as these clog up the sorting machines. Thank you for the wealth of information you provide.

— Claire, no town

ANSWER: The plastic recycling bins at Hannaford and Shaw’s supermarkets are meant for single-use plastic bags only that are given out from any retailer. And guess what? These bags are used to make more bags! They are also used for a variety of other items, including composite plastic decking, that plastic lawn furniture you relaxed in all summer, and more!

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent here, but I just can’t resist. You can make lots of items out of these plastic bags, too! I have a much-loved and well-used crocheted tote bag made from “plarn” (yarn made from plastic bags). If you go to, you will find dozens of ideas for reusing plastic bags by making plarn and crocheting it into floor mats, water bottle holders, wastepaper baskets, and all sizes of totes and even sandals for the beach! All you need are plastic bags, scissors, and a crochet hook.

In regards to the second part of your question, the recycle bins at the grocery stores are not meant for any kind of product packaging, freezer bags, bread bags, or plastic wrap. Those are all no-no’s and have to be tossed with your regular kitchen garbage. My feeling is to use as little of those products as possible. There are so many other ways to store leftovers, etc. Try reusable Mason jars and other glass containers and good old waxed paper.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Did I read somewhere that Art Garfunkel of Simon and Garfunkel died?

— No name, no town

ANSWER: Arthur Ira Garfunkel is very much alive and about to celebrate his 76th birthday on Nov. 5. An American singer, poet, teacher and actor, Art is best known for his partnership with Paul Simon in the folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel and has six Grammys, as well as many other awards to his credit. The recent report that the singer had died is a complete hoax that spread across Facebook and other social media and is just one of the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. 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 be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Journal Facebook page at Journal. This column can also be read online at We’ve joined Pinterest at

Comments are not available on this story.