In Bolton, the council and NHS trust provide people in need with equipment such as walking frames, commodes, beds, bath seats, hoists, and Telecare sensors.
These are provided on loan, but officials have often found that people do not know what to do with them when they no longer need them and sometimes end up keeping them.
Council cabinet member for adult social care Cllr Andrew Morgan said: “It is important that we support residents by giving them the medical equipment they need to recover and live independently.
“But sadly, many of these items go to waste when they are no longer needed and this is costing both the NHS and the environment.
“The money saved by recycling returned equipment can be used toward the vital front-line services we all rely on.
“I encourage anybody who has equipment they are no longer using to hand it back so it can be used by someone else in need.”
According to health officials up to 60 per cent of walking equipment is never returned, which could instead be refurbished and reused.
They say that this would not only saves the NHS money, but would also reduces carbon emissions.
To encourage people to come forward the NHS has declared a nationwide amnesty for people returning their medical equipment.
Bolton NHS foundation trust director of operations Joanne Street said: “We loan out thousands of items each year to help people in Bolton live as independently as possible, but unfortunately a lot of it never makes its way back to us.
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“If you no longer use the equipment, you can help us by returning it as soon as possible so that we can make sure it’s given to another patient who needs that extra bit of support to get home from hospital.”
Anyone with unneeded home care or medical equipment can call 01204 337262 or 01204 337060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for it to be picked up.
Alternatively, people can drop equipment off at the Adelaide Depot, Adelaide Street, Bolton, BL3 3NY between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.