A TRIAL scheme to recycle medical equipment has seen around 380 items donated in the last three months.

Wigan Council's three recycling centres which include the sites at Slag Lane in Lowton and Chanters Industrial Estate in Atherton, has attracted 759kg of equipment and will be given back to the NHS to save money.

It is believed the NHS lose millions of pounds a year due to patients not returning medical equipment like crutches and zimmer frames.

Wigan Council teamed up with FCC Environment, which operates the borough's recycling centres, to launch the scheme and set up a collection point for used medical equipment at each of the sites.

FCC Environment contract manager Barry Elder said: "In the last few weeks alone we have seen a range of items, from walking frames to crutches come in.“

"The items collected to date are all going on for re-use it’s great to know that they will go on to have a new life saving the council and NHS money and reducing the amount of material going to waste.”

The local authority is urging residents to drop off their unwanted medical aids at one of the recycling centres.

Paul Barton, director for environment at Wigan Council, said: “Many people are discharged from hospital with equipment that is designed to support their recovery or make their lives a little easier but when that equipment is no longer needed, we wanted to do what we could to bring those items back into serviceable use.

"Providing a collection point at our three recycling centres makes it easier for residents to bring their items in so that they can be put back into service for the good of the community.

"We would encourage residents with these items to bring them in to us as part of The Deal and help us to recycle more, recycle right.”

For more information visit wigan.gov.uk/recycling.