Recycle Medical Devices
With advances in modern medicine, it’s not uncommon for Americans to die with expensive medical implants, prosthetic devices, medical equipment, and prescription drugs. Why not recycle them and help someone else? While implanted devices, prosthetics, and prescription drugs cannot be re-used in the U.S., there are organizations that make them available for re-use in developing countries. Medical equipment and some medical supplies can be donated for use in this country.
Crematories routinely remove pacemakers and defibrillators prior to the cremation taking place. Artificial joints are typically made of valuable metals and survive the cremation process. Below are links to sites that help us recycle these medical items to benefit others.
Alternative Solutions is a nonprofit organization that recycles the metal from orthopedic implants and dental prosthetics. The proceeds are donated to a local charity.
Project My Heart – Your Heart is a program through the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center which is conducting research on the re-implantation of pacemakers in a second recipient. They accept the donation of pacemakers for use in their program.
The Amputee Coalition provides information regarding several organizations that recycle prosthetic devices for use overseas - often by landmine victims.
The Hearing Speech and Deafness Center accepts the donation of used hearing aids which are refurbished and sanitized for use by those who do not have resources to purchase a new one.
The Washington Lions Club has an Eyeglass Recycling Center that accepts the donation of used eyeglasses to be reused overseas.
Take Back Your Meds is a Washington State program to help you properly dispose of unused medications, including narcotics.