Recycling company takes old X-rays

WOULD you know where I could dump old X-rays? – LM, Port Elizabeth.

These days we don't dump, we recycle! I made some inquiries and was directed to Greencycle, opposite the Walmer Country Club. I spoke to Laura Henderson, who said they would accept old X-rays, but her real enthusiasm seemed to be in collecting items from customers for recycling. She said it was cheaper for householders to pay the average R30 collection fee rather than fork out the petrol money for a trip to the depot from Summerstrand, for instance.

According to its website () Greencycle is a non-profit organisation which provides a convenient and inexpensive recycling collection service to the homes and businesses of Port Elizabeth.

"Most of the household waste you throw away every week could go to recycling instead of landfill. Your glass jars and bottles, all your food and drink tins, all paper products most types of plastic, as well as broken appliances and ink cartridges can be reused or transformed into new products."

Laura and Louise Simpson co-founded Greencycle in 2008. They continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the organisation.

In response to my unsuccessful attempts at removing make-up stains from a collar, a reader sent in her remedy of using a paste of cold water Omo granules and Dettol (diluted with a small amount of water to turn it white). You published this in your ever- informative and helpful column. I tried this remedy and voila! – the stain is gone. I now put the paste on all the shirt collars, especially my grandson's school shirts, before laundering. – BH, Plettenberg Bay.

Thanks for confirming that this is such a successful remedy. It's always good to have feedback.

While on a hunting trip, my husband's friends teased him about his bright white tackies. This prompted him to camouflage them by drawing black zebra stripes with a permanent marker!Is there any way to remove the stripes without spoiling the shoes? – Ann, Uitenhage.

It is not called "permanent marker" for nothing! I have an anonymous tip in my files which says "rubbing alcohol" – from the pharmacy – can remove permanent marker. Rub the marks with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol "to make it disappear quickly". I am dubious about the takkies ever looking pristine again. At best they will need a thorough treatment with a whitening product.

Seeing that the white takkies caused your husband's embarrassment, perhaps it would be easier to turn them into black takkies? Look at the products available for shoe dyeing.

 I have inherited a set of teacups with saucers. One of the saucers is cracked in three places and I would love to repair it, though I would not use it. I think you previously published a way of repairing cracked crockery. – MP, Port Elizabeth.

The method is to place the damaged china in a pot of milk and simmer for at least an hour. The milk fills the crack and coagulates, making a seal. Although this sounds an unlikely repair method, it works very well. Obviously one should treat the repaired piece carefully. It is not going to be robust. If the cracks remain visible, you can soak the saucer in a strong bleach and water solution.

Although not good for china in the long term, bleach is fantastic as a whitener. But you must soak the item in clean water after the treatment for a couple of hours to remove all traces of the bleach.

A reader who used the bleach method was happy with the result, which did not affect the sealing by the milk.

- At Your Service, with Gwen Bisseker