COLUMN: Still time to hand in unwanted medical equipment

In case you hadn’t heard, the collection amnesty for people to return unwanted medical equipment to reuse and recycle has been extended to household waste and recycling centres (HWRC) across the county.

Councillor Wendy Bowkett, LCC Executive Councillor for Adult Care & Public Health
Councillor Wendy Bowkett, LCC Executive Councillor for Adult Care & Public Health

Following a successful pilot at Lincoln Household Waste Recycling Centre over the last few months, I’m pleased to see this being rolled out to other centres. It means perfectly good medical equipment that is cluttering living rooms or ending up in domestic waste, can be reused or recycled.

The pandemic has meant there is a shortage of equipment such as perching stools, bed sticks and commodes, as well as smaller items like crutches or rollators.

Returning unwanted equipment is easy. Any small equipment supplied by your local council or NHS can be dropped off at dedicated containers available at HWRCs at Skegness, Louth, Boston, Gainsborough, Grantham and Lincoln. We’ll review the initiative in the summer before possibly expanding it to less populated centres.

By working together, we can help those patients who need it most, reduce the NHS carbon footprint and work more cost effectively.

The county council’s community equipment service is working with health colleagues to reduce the NHS carbon footprint and, wherever possible, reuse items, some of which are in short supply. On behalf of the council or NHS, the community equipment service has loaned thousands of items of equipment to help people to live independently in the community.

There is a collection service for larger, more expensive items, but it’s not usually cost-effective for the service to collect smaller items. Rather than being handed back, previously these items would have been thrown away or stored at home when no longer needed. This is where the new drop-off service at waste collection sites will help.

People can drop off any unwanted equipment at the listed centres during opening times.

Clean larger items such as beds, shower chairs and hoists can continue to be collected by community equipment service free of charge by calling 0345 121 2032

So, the next time you head to one of the sites to drop off household rubbish, think about any medical equipment that you no longer need or use. With your help we can prevent perfectly good medical equipment, which could provide perfectly good support for someone else, from going to waste.