Keep recycling during the holiday season, but ecomaine, the Portland-based recycling facility, is making a list and checking it twice – a list of acceptable items in single-sort recycling bins this holiday season.

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“Every holiday season, the amount of recycling tends to increase,” said Kathryn Oak, ecomaine’s recycling manager, in a Dec. 2 news release, “But mixed in with those items that are recyclable are some that aren’t – and even a few that can be dangerous in our facility.”

With many gifts being delivered to homes, cardboard boxes are a relatively easy item to remember to recycle. However, there are a few others that aren’t as simple:

Wrapping paper can be recycled if it is made from paper (if it can rip easily). Plastic mylar and cellophane wrapping should go into the trash. The same is true for gift bags.
Decorations like fabric or string lights should be left out of recycling bins. The cords in lights can become wrapped around sorting machinery at ecomaine, causing costly and dangerous delays.
Natural trees and wreaths may be able to be mulched or composted, but fake ones should either be reused or put in the trash.
Styrofoam that comes with deliveries or gifts should also go into the trash, as should bubble wrap or plastic envelopes.
Some items can be reused or donated, like ribbons and bows or old, unwanted items.

“We want to be a resource for Maine residents as they celebrate this time of year,” said ecomaine’s communications manager, Matt Grondin in an email. “With our easy and free Recyclopedia, answers to typical holiday waste questions are available 24/7, so people can have a more sustainable holiday and get back to their time with family and friends.”

The ecomaine Recyclopedia is available as a mobile app on smartphones and at www.ecomaine.org/101.

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Drive benefits Maine Diaper Bank

The South Portland Public Library is hosting a Diaper Drive through Monday, Dec. 20. Those wishing to donate may drop off diapers at either the Main Library or the Branch Library location, during business hours and library staff will deliver them to a Maine Diaper Bank.

One in three U.S. families experience diaper need. Babies without clean diapers are exposed to more potential health risks and are less likely to be accepted to daycares, leaving parents unable to attend work. The National Diaper Bank Network provides basic necessities required to build the strong foundations all children, families and individuals need to thrive and reach their full potential.

Maine’s diaper bank networks provide nearly 300,000 diapers annually to families in Maine, including the South Portland community. Currently, there is a particular need for larger diaper sizes (5 and 6 preferred) as well as wipes.

For more information about the National Diaper Bank Network, visit www.nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org. For more information about South Portland Public Library’s Diaper Drive, visit www.SouthPortlandLibrary.com or call 767-7660, ext. 2.

Sen. Carney to host public office hours in Cape Elizabeth

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Senator Anne Carney (D-Cape Elizabeth) will hold public office hours on Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Living Room inside the Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth.

Office hours provide local residents a chance to meet with their representatives to ask questions and get help with state government services. Carney will also give updates on their legislation and the Legislature’s work more broadly.

Those who cannot make the event, but still wish to connect with Carney, can reach out any time. To contact Sen. Carney, call 207-287-1515 or email [email protected]

What: Public office hours

Who: Sen. Anne Carney

When: 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15

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Where: Thomas Memorial Library, 6 Scott Dyer Road, Cape Elizabeth

Carney represents Senate District 29, which includes Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and part of Scarborough.

Carney, Morales to host public office hours in South Portland

Senator Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, and Rep. Victoria Morales, D-South Portland, will hold public office hours on Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Activity Room inside Redbank Community Center in South Portland.

Office hours provide local residents a chance to meet with their representatives to ask questions and get help with state government services. Carney and Morales will also give updates on their legislation and the Legislature’s work more broadly.

Those who cannot make the event, but still wish to connect with Carney or Morales, can reach out any time. For Carney, call 207-287-1515 or send an email to [email protected] For Morales, call 207-287-1430 or send an email to [email protected]

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What: Public office hours

Who: Sen. Anne Carney and Rep. Victoria Morales

When: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15

Where: Redbank Community Center, 95 Macarthur Circle West, South Portland

Carney represents Senate District 29, which includes Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and part of Scarborough. Morales represents House District 33, which includes part of South Portland.

South Portland Toy Drive party is Dec. 11

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The South Portland Christmas Toy Drive helped more than 280 South Portland children with new warm coats, boots and toys last year. One-hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to buying the needed items for children.

This is 10th year of the drive and involves a partnership with the South Portland Police Department, South Portland Police Patrolmen’s Association, South Portland school system, South Portland Professional Firefighters Local 1476, South Portland Community Center, Maine Roofing, Inc., Evie’s Ferry Village Watering Hole, Port Harbor Marine and Peoples United – Millcreek.

The annual toy drive party is being held at Evie’s Ferry Village Watering Hole, 121 Sawyer St., South Portland on Saturday, Dec. 11, starting at 6 p.m. Bring new unwrapped toys and enjoy a night of fun and cocktails.

Each year the toy drive collects hundreds of toys, boots and coats which are distributed to families with the help of police officers. This year, the organization anticipates an even greater need as so many have suffered at the hands of the pandemic. Organizers are looking for businesses, groups or individuals to “adopt children” for the drive. All participants need to do is specify how many children they’d like to buy a coat, boots and some toys for.

The drive is also looking for donations of new, unwrapped toys, art supplies, teen items and gift cards that can be dropped off at any of the businesses listed on the posters around town. The deadline for donations is Friday, Dec. 10.

Organizers have made it easier to donate this year and have added QR codes to the posters that will take contributors directly to the GOFUNDME site (www.gofundme.com/f/SoPoChristmasToyDrive) or to the Venmo account  @so-po-christmas-toy-drive).

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Participants can also make checks payable to: SPPPA Community Needs Fund. Checks and/or gift cards can be dropped off or mailed to:
Maine Roofing- 24 Bishop Ave., South Portland, ME 04106.

Toy drop-off locations:
Maine Roofing, Inc., 24 Bishop Ave., South Portland
South Portland Police Department, 30 Anthoine St., South Portland
South Portland Fire Station – Cash Corner, 360 Main St., South Portland
South Portland Community Center – 21 Nelson Road, South Portland
Port Harbor Marine, 1 Spring Point Drive, South Portland
People’s United Bank – Millcreek, 15 Hinckley Drive, South Portland
Snap Fitness, 747 Broadway, South Portland
April Cohen Team, 382A Cottage Road, South Portland

For more information or to adopt a family, contact Liz Darling at Maine Roofing, Inc., 207-767-4243 or email [email protected]

A Christmas Survival Guide at the Lyric

Lyric Music Theater presents A Christmas Survival Guide through Dec. 12. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

The cost is $19 for children and seniors and $23 for adults. For more information, visit www.lyricmusictheater.org or call 207-799-1421.

A Christmas Survival Guide is a musical revue that takes a wry and knowing look at a a stressful season. Armed with a copy of the book, “A Christmas Survival Guide” and an optimistic attitude, the characters charge into an urban holiday landscape searching for the true essence of Christmas. In songs and vignettes, they learn to cope with the season in ways that are both hilarious and heartwarming.

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