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More recycling bag woes for Durban

In a recent show we discussed the shortage of orange bags due to a dispute between the municipality and the makers of those bags; now there’s a new problem, thanks to the monster storm of October 10.

Recycle bin
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Since then, ardent recyclers in many Durban suburbs have been disappointed to find that their bags of recyclables - orange for paper, plastic, cardboard and polystyrene and clear bags for glass and cans - haven’t been collected.

Some temporary holding points have been found with other recycling centres, Abbu said, but many areas, such as mine, the Berea/Overport area, don’t have such Plan Bs, so collection can't happen.

ALSO READ: From bagged, sliced bread to recycling bags

And red tape issues mean they can’t be temporarily housed at the landfill site either.

So the advice is to please keep doing the recycling thing and keep your orange and clear bags on your property until the problem is resolved in two weeks or so.

Staying with things green

The big storm’s other environmental impact is horrifying - millions of lentil-sized plastic pellets known as “nurdles” have been washing up on Durban’s beaches and as far as East London to the south and up to Richards Bay.

They are thought to have come from a container which fell off a ship during the storm, in 25kg bags reportedly. The pellets float on the surface, masquerading as food for birds, fish and turtles. 

So let’s heed the call to go to a beach, any beach, on Sunday morning and be part of the clean-up, so it doesn’t end up back in the sea. Go armed with a sieve!

Nurdles seen along a Durban beach - supplied

Christmas gifts

If you're intending to send Christmas gifts to loved ones overseas, tomorrow (October 27) is the cut-off for surface mail gifts, and December 8 is the cut-off for airmail. 

As for gifts being sent to us from loved ones overseas, please warn them to send them early, because even the airmailed parcels have been taking up to two months to get to their recipients.

And warn them that the declared value of the contents mustn’t be more than the equivalent of R1400 in order for it to qualify as a gift and be exempt from customs duty and VAT.  If not, you gift could cost you hundreds of Rand.

The bad news is that even if the parcel does qualify as a gift, you’ll have to pay a clearance fee of R24 for a small packet, and R46 for a larger one.

That clearance fee also applies when you buy goods from an online retailer so be aware of that when you place an order.

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