When someone is recovering from an accident or major surgery, they may need to utilize a wheelchair and other medical gear like crutches on a short-term basis. If someone who permanently used a wheelchair has passed away, loved ones may be left with a dilemma of what to do with it.
If you are dealing with any of these situations, you may wonder about the possibility of wheelchair recycling. There are many people who need mobility aids, so being able to recycle a used one for further use is a better option than throwing it in the trash. You could be helping one of the 100 million people worldwide that need a wheelchair but don’t have the funds for it.
Let’s find out more about wheelchair recycling.
Can a Wheelchair Be Recycled?
Yes! You can easily recycle your wheelchair. How you recycle it depends upon the condition of the wheelchair. Recycling can involve breaking the worn out materials for different use or allowing someone else to use it.
Wheelchairs are mostly made from aluminum. So if it is no longer useful, you can take it somewhere that handles scrap metal recycling. Some recycling centers will pay for scrap metal by weight.
LoadUp is a nationwide organization that can remove scrap metal for a fee. They can even dispose of items that have hazardous metals like mercury, uranium, and lead. Go to their site and enter your zip code to get pricing.
Places such as Timeless Mobility will take your worn down chair and give you a small fee in exchange. They then take the best parts and use them to fix another chair. If there is anything unusable, they will sell those parts for scrap.
If you have a wheelchair that is still in working condition, you have a mobility aid that is in high demand. Unfortunately, the need for wheelchairs may be greater than the supply since they are out of budget for those in need.
There are several places where you can donate or sell your chair to. If you want to get some money, you can always list a used wheelchair on Craigslist or FaceBook Marketplace.
However, if you want to help someone in need, consider various charity organizations that will put the chair in good hands. Some organizations will offer drop-off locations.
Where to Recycle a Wheelchair Near Me
Depending on your location, local churches, hospice care,and senior centers are options to recycle your wheelchair for further use.
Local state organizations are a great resource for recycling. For example, REquipment accepts gently used wheelchairs and other medical equipment from Massachusetts residents.
Other Ways to Dispose of a Wheelchair (donate; sell; etc)
If you decide to donate a wheelchair, some agencies will pick it up from your home. You may also get a receipt for your donation.
Bear in mind, some spots such as nursing homes and hospice care may be hesitant to accept donations since potential clients may need customization. So be sure you call ahead and ask about whether they can accept one or not.
Triumph Foundation in California - give them manual and power wheelchairs to fix up and donate.They mostly focus on people who have spinal cord injuries.
Red Cross - a nationwide organization that usually accepts wheelchair donations in good condition. Call them for pick-up from your home.
Salvation Army - they are always willing to take usable wheelchairs and other medical equipment. Call them for a pick up.
Goodwill - they accept wheelchairs in good condition. You may deliver the wheelchair to them in person or have them pick it up. Your donation may also be tax deductible.
The Wheelchair Foundation - this organization gets wheelchairs to people in need around the world. So far, they have helped get over 1 million wheelchairs in the right hands. While they don’t accept wheelchairs as donations, they have an extensive list of organizations that do so.
LifeNets The Wheelchair Project - this organization matches wheelchairs to those in need within the United States.
Sell Your Wheelchairs
Craigslist - use this option regardless of what state (or country) you are in. It is best to search under categories such as “garage sale”, “general”, and “health”. Usually someone will come to your location to pick it up.
Ebay - this online auction site is another great option regardless of location. If someone buys it from you, you may have to prepare to ship it.
CareCure - this is a resource from Rutgers University for people to buy and sell all types of used mobility items like wheelchairs.
Inspired SCI Forum - use this forum to connect to buyers directly .
Disability Trading Zone - this is a Facebook group where you can sell or trade your chair. It is an emporium where you can buy as well.
You Have Many Options For Recycling Old Wheelchairs
If you have a wheelchair to get rid of, you don’t need to keep it lying around. There are a few options to make use of an old wheelchair. Wheelchairs that are no longer useful can be broken down into scrap metal. Some companies have skilled workers that can refurbish old parts to repair other wheelchairs. However, you can also sell or donate a wheelchair in good condition. Use local organizations or nationwide ones as you prefer. Whatever you decide, your old wheelchair won’t go to waste.