Man with no arms or legs launches Britain’s first recycling centre for false LIMBS

January 20, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

A man with no arms or legs has launched Britain’s first ever recycling centre – for false LIMBS.

Ray Edwards MBE, 59, is transforming thousands of fake body parts into cash to help fund new equipment for amputees.

The new recycling centre is set to make around £20 for each limb – by stripping away the plastic and selling the metal inside.

Limbcare takes a delivery of old prosthetic limbs, which they are now storing in Big Yellow Storage in Camberley

Limbcare takes a delivery of old prosthetic limbs, which they are now storing in Big Yellow Storage in Camberley

It has been opened by charity Limbcare, headed by quadruple amputee Ray, who lost his arms and legs in 1987 after being struck down with septicaemia.

The team has set up their recycling station in a warehouse in Camberley, Surrey – and has already been given over 1,000 false limbs from around the country.

They have received their limbs from amputees who needed new ones, or by relatives of wearers who have passed away.

Because false limbs are classed as medical waste, by law they cannot be re-used, so Ray’a team are stripping away the plastic and resin outer coating, to get to the metal inside.

Ray, of Sandhurst, Berks, said: “The metal inside false limbs is very expensive – it’s all titanium, aluminium or medical-grade stainless steel.

A container full of the limbs that will be recycled

A container full of the limbs that will be recycled

One of the more complex electric and metal false limbs that will be recycled

One of the more complex electric and metal false limbs that will be recycled

“In the past, when an amputee dies or out-grows their current false limb, they were just thrown away. But we can get about £20 for the metalwork inside, so that’s a great start.

“There are upwards of 100,000 amputees in Britain, and each one will go through several different limbs in their lifetime.

“I think it’s a brilliant way for us to raise money, because all the proceeds will go back to help others.

“We hope to raise as much money as possible to buy new limbs, wheelchairs and pay for rehabilitation, and we think we’ve come up with a fantastic way to do that.”

Below the knee prosthetics cost around £4000, and above the knee limbs cost up to £9000.

Ray said: “In the past, family members either threw away the false limbs or buried them with their loved ones.

“Now they have an option to help others after their own loved ones have passed away.”

Ray added: “We’re the first people in Britain to realise the very real cost of waste artificial limbs.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to use the money we generate to buy wheelchairs, new limbs, and also to pay for the training and rehabilitation for people who need our help.

“Lots of people know about the fantastic work Help for Heroes does, but there are lots of people out there who lost their arms and legs in other ways, and they need help too.”

Cash donations can be made by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/limbcare

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