Derbyshire County Council equipment recycling scheme image

Derbyshire County Council is joining a raft of other local authorities by calling on residents to return mobility equipment that is no longer being used so that it can be recycled and reused by those who need it.

Outsourced equipment providers have been helping lead similar initiatives in other areas throughout England. For example, NRS Healthcare has been working with Kent County Council and NHS Kent and Medway CCG to encourage equipment returns across Kent, meanwhile, Medequip has been working with Age UK Wirral to urge equipment returns in Wirral.

These assistive technology return schemes are not only good for the environment by helping to reduce waste by deep cleaning and recycling, but they also ensure those who rely on such items can continue to receive them, preventing stock shortages.

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Medequip is assisting with Derbyshire County Council’s call to residents to return mobility equipment. The outsourced provider delivers mobility items on behalf of the council to Derbyshire residents, which includes products like wheelchairs, rise and recline chairs, Zimmer frames, walking sticks, and toilet frames.

Collection points for equipment that residents no longer need have been introduced at five of the council’s recycling centres – in Loscoe, Stonegravels, Ashbourne, Northwood (Darley Dale), and Bolsover – ready for collection by Medequip. By setting up collection points, this reduces the number of journeys Medequip has to make to collect items from individual homes, which helps to cut carbon emissions.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Care Councillor Natalie Hoy said: “I’m pleased we’re able to work with Medequip and proud to see Derbyshire helping to lead the way.

“We know that demand for this sort of equipment is high and the scheme will help to collect the smaller equipment and get it back on the shelves and re-used as quickly as possible. This helps to support vulnerable people in our community which is a priority for us.”

So far, 450 items have been recovered from the recycling centres. Of these, 78 percent were returned to warehouse shelves for reuse with just the remaining 100 going for recycling.

Larger pieces of equipment, including electrical kit, will continue to be collected by Medequip from people’s homes.

There are plans to roll out the scheme to the council’s other sites at Bretby, Ilkeston and Waterswallows (Buxton) later this year.

Steve Smith, Regional General Manager at Medequip, commented: “Supplying community equipment to ensure Derbyshire 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. Working in partnership with Derbyshire County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres allows residents to have the option to return equipment that is no longer needed at their convenience, and this enables us to support others who require that equipment.

“All items returned will be thoroughly cleaned, assessed, safety tested and either repaired and reused or stripped down for recycling.”

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