Happy Earth Day! When we think about recycling, it’s often our pop cans or egg cartons that first come to mind. Yet mobility device also gets old, or we outgrow it, or our needs change. And since the last thing we want is to drop wheelchairs curbside and send them to landfill, we thought what better time to share some resources. Here are a few ideas on what to do:
Pass them along to someone in your network
If you’re ready to pass along your mobility device (or to rehome it on behalf of someone you know), ask around in your community to see if there’s someone in your network who may need it. Posting on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or any other platforms can be a great first step.
Describe the condition of your mobility device, along with any notes on whether you’re selling or donating it. You might also note that you’re willing for your post to be shared beyond your page. Including measurements plus a photo or two can help readers assess whether the device is right for them.
You can also donate equipment to an agency or nursing home. Be aware that they may decline due to safety and liability concerns.
Sell or give away your mobility device via online platforms
Another social enterprise launched in 2017 by students at Western University also accepts and refurbishes wheelchairs
Other organizations offer online platforms specific to selling mobility devices from crutches to scooters:
The Canadian Disability Resources Society has an online classified page for donations
AssistList is another resource with an equipment listings service
Beyond these specialized classifieds, more general platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji can be good options to donate or sell used mobility device.
Again, be sure to fully describe your equipment, include pictures, dimensions that will help potential buyers assess whether your equipment is right for them.
As with all online selling, be sure to meet any potential buyers in public places to avoid any scams or dangerous situations.
Donate items to a charity
Organizations like the Canadian Red Cross and others are open for donations of mobility device including wheelchairs, rollators, walkers, crutches, canes, bath seats and benches, commodes and toilet seats and more. Check out the Canadian Red Cross to read more about donation protocols (equipment is no longer being accepted in Ontario, for example) and details about gift-in-kind tax receipts that may be available.
Other organizations take used equipment and refurbish it to sell at a fraction of the cost. Ottawa-based STRIDE Wheelchairs is a non-profit operated by retired engineers, former health care professionals and persons with disabilities, that takes in wheelchairs and other equipment (you can even arrange for pickup for a small fee). Again, you should connect with the organization for full details and to make arrangements