A community-led initiative encouraging residents to drop-off unwanted medical equipment has been hailed a success after five tonnes of items were donated in just 12 months.
Last October new recycling bins were installed at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) across North Yorkshire and York, in partnership with Medequip, which provides community equipment services to local authorities and the NHS across the UK. Since then, five tonnes of equipment have been donated - the equivalent of almost 7,000 crutches! All of the items are assessed, safety tested and either repaired and reused or stripped down for recycling. The average hospital could save £46,000 a year if just two out of every five walking aids were returned for reuse. Even faulty walking aids that are beyond repair can be recycled as scrap metal, generating income for NHS organisations.
North Yorkshire Council’s Executive Member for Waste Services, Councillor Greg White, said: “We would like to thank everybody who has supported the scheme and want to take this opportunity to encourage more people to come forward and donate. “Recycling unwanted equipment is not only great for the planet, but also reduces the costs of buying new. Such items are designed to be kept in use for as long as possible and are simple to refurbish.” Items that can be placed in a Medequip bin include adjustable walking sticks, adult crutches, chair raisers, commodes, bed levers, wheeled adjustable frames, perching stools, raised toilet seats, pressure cushions, toilet frames and trolleys. You can also contact Medequip to arrange free collection by telephoning 01423 226240 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (12-10-400 SU)