Adirondack Health goes green with crutch recycling program
Jerry Stewart, Rehabilitation Technician, and Patti Hammond, Chief Operating Officer, stand with Patti’s donated crutches. Patti was one of the first volunteers to offer her crutches for the recycling program.
Program a first of its kind in the country
SARANAC LAKE – Do you have crutches you no longer need just taking up space in your closet? Adirondack Health now offers a crutch recycling program, one of the first of its kind in the country. With patients and the environment in mind, this program was designed to save money as well as space in your closet and the landfill.
Crutches are used for an average of eight weeks. New crutches are provided for patients each time they need them and as part of many procedures. They are not charged to you or your insurance, costing Adirondack Health over $20,000 annually. While it is possible to turn a profit from your own used crutches, the resale rate of crutches at yard sales has been found to be less than two percent.
There is also a huge environmental impact associated with the distribution of crutches. Many crutches are made of aluminum and can take at least 1,000 years to decompose.
Adirondack Health’s crutch recycling program strives to save both money and the environment by asking patients to return their crutches when they are no longer needed. The crutches will be inspected to ensure they are safe for reuse.
Then they will be cleaned in accordance with the New York State Health Department and Center for Disease Control guidelines. Padding will be replaced if needed and the crutches will be returned to circulation, keeping them in the hands of patients and out of landfills.
This program is completely voluntary, but every participant makes a difference. Return used crutches to the Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine departments in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake or the Information Desk at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. Please call (518) 897-2697 with questions or for more information.