Drop-off service launched for unwanted medical equipment

Residents are being encouraged to recycle unwanted medical equipment as part of a new initiative launched during Recycle Week (17 – 23 October).

New recycling bins have been 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.

The aim is to promote the recycling of old medical equipment including crutches, walking frames and bed levers that residents may have been given from hospital.

Local NHS and social care services lose thousands of pounds each year due to missing equipment. All items returned will be assessed, safety tested and either repaired and reused or stripped down for recycling.

Cllr Derek Bastiman, North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for waste management, said: “We are really pleased to launch this initiative to coincide with Recycle Week. The bins will make it easier for people to get rid of any unwanted medical equipment that may be cluttering up their house.

“Unfortunately, perfectly good medical equipment does make its way into domestic waste so we want to change this trend. The dedicated bins are in place at all of our recycling centres and staff will be on hand for anybody who needs assistance with larger items.”

Cllr Paula Widdowson, executive member for the environment and climate change at City of York Council, said: “This is a great initiative during Recycle Week. We hope this will help provide residents across York and North Yorkshire the option to recycle their old or unwanted medical equipment across a number of sites, rather than just being put into household waste.”

Steve Smith, regional general manager at Medequip, said: “Supplying community equipment to ensure residents can live independently is extremely important, from a wellbeing perspective and for everyday safety. Vital equipment also supports our NHS with hospital discharges, so people can return to their home environment with equipment in place to help with daily living.”

Wendy Balmain, the North Yorkshire director of NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said: “All sorts of equipment provided free of charge to help people after accidents or to keep older people independent for longer is never returned, costing the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.

“We warmly welcome the new drop-off points at household waste recycling centres – it should make it much easier for people to return equipment that’s no longer needed so it can be cleaned and checked over and then reissued to someone else in need of support.”

Find out more information on the new Medequip bins and to find your nearest household waste recycling centre.

To find out more about Recycle Week.