A COMMUNITY-led initiative encouraging residents to drop-off unwanted medical equipment has been hailed a success after five tonnes of items have been donated in just 12 months.

In October last year, 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 collected are assessed, safety tested and either repaired and reused or stripped down for recycling.

The council said the average hospital could save £46,000 a year if just two out of every five walking aids were returned for reuse. Faulty walking aids that are beyond repair can be recycled as scrap metal, generating income for the trust.

For more information on the Medequip bins, visit North Yorkshire Council’s website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/bins-recycling-and-waste/household-waste-recycling-centres/medical-equipment