A substantial amount of mobility equipment has turned up at recycling centre in Devon and is now being sold off by the council for less than £5 per item.
Nobody is sure how the wheelchairs, walking aids and commodes arrived at the site but fearing the aids will otherwise go to waste, they are now being sold off at a heavily discounted price.
According to a report by Devon Live, the aids are “awaiting imminent collection” by charity Physionet, which sends medical equipment overseas to communities in need.
Locals have expressed concern that the medical equipment ought to be reused given the strains on NHS services but the council has insisted the aids will be recycled, all be it overseas.
Speaking to Devon Live, a spokesman for Devon County Council explained: “We allow the equipment to build up a little in volume here for it to be a worthwhile quantity for the charity to collect. We’re pleased that it’s being put to good use and that it all gets recycled.”
Community Equipment Service, which supplies and collects mobility equipment in the area, recently won a contract with NHS Devon to provide aids to residents. The new contract is partly designed to make it easier for people to return unwanted equipment.
The council’s spokesman told the newspaper: “It’s inevitable that some equipment will end up at our recycling centres, and we’ve a mechanism for having it collected. But under the contract that is just being introduced, there’ll be a number of additional ways for people to request collection or to return unwanted equipment. While a quantity of equipment like this might raise questions in the public’s mind, rest assured, it’s not wasted, and it will be re-used or recycled in some way.”