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Donating and recycling used disability equipment

When you no longer need your equipment, you may be able to give it to someone else.

Return your equipment

If the NHS, social services or another support service supplied your equipment, find out if they will take it back. They may be able to offer it to another person. Contact the department that supplied your equipment to find out if you can return it. Ask if they will collect the equipment or if you have to return it yourself.

There are several national charities that accept donations of used disability equipment. Please contact them in advance to check that they can use or pass on the items you have to offer. In most cases, you will need to arrange delivery of the equipment. 

Wheelchairs, mobility equipment, Braille and hearing aids

Disabled Equipment Sent Overseas (DESO) collects used disability equipment, such as:

  • crutches
  • walking sticks
  • wheelchairs
  • Braille machines, books and magazines
  • hearing aids and hearing aid batteries

Limbcare Recycling collects mobility aids. This includes crutches, prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. They can arrange free collection.

Physionet can collect from all over mainland UK but the minimum number of items is 20.

Prosthetic legs

Legs 4 Africa collects donated prosthetic legs in the UK. It sends the parts to mobility centres in Africa to make new custom-built prosthetic legs.

Donate a prosthetic leg (Legs 4 Africa)

Ostomy supplies

Jacob's Well Appeal accepts unwanted and unopened ostomy products including:

  • pouches and accessories
  • lotions, powder and sprays
  • gels and wipes

Donate to local charities

Some local charities such as your local Age UK or Disabled People’s Organisation may take your equipment as a donation. This often depends on local need at the time. These groups may not have space to store your equipment. Some charities will collect in their local areas.

Always check that the charity can take it before you donate.

If your equipment was fitted specifically for you, it may be hard to find someone to pass it onto. Charity shops cannot accept items that are not safe to sell. Some shops do not take electrical or powered items because they are not able to test them.

Offer your item for free

You can list items that you want to give away on these websites:

You could offer your item through Facebook groups or a local disability organisation. They may feature your item in their newsletter.

Sell your item for charity

You could ask buyers to make a donation in return for the item. Or you could donate the proceeds through eBay.

Sell for charity (eBay)

Selling used disability equipment

Recycling disability equipment

If the equipment is not in a good enough condition to reuse, there are some options for recycling. You may be able to recycle some items through your local authority’s waste service, such as:

  • electrical goods
  • household appliances
  • batteries
  • mobile phones

For large items such as mobility aids, beds and wheelchairs, check your local authority’s website to find out what they can recycle.

Find your local authority (GOV.UK)

In most cases, you will need to arrange delivery to your local Household Recycling Centre.

Some local authorities will charge for recycling or disposal of large items. This can vary widely.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 03/08/2020

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