In 2015, Seoul Metropolitan City collected and washed the blankets of 2,197 residents (1,600 people with severe disabilities and 597 senior citizens who live alone) in an effort to ensure that residents who have difficulty moving can still have freshly laundered blankets. In total, the city washed a total of 6,033 blankets, averaging two to three blankets per household.
Called “Blanket Washing on Wheels,” this program was launched by Seoul Metropolitan Government for the purpose of improving the sanitation of the living conditions of people with severe disabilities and senior citizens living alone in Seoul. Under the program, trucks equipped with washing and drying machines are sent to welfare centers for people with disabilities, rental apartments, elderly home care facilities, and social welfare centers that require laundry services, where they collect and launder large items that need washing (e.g. blankets).
The trucks for the Blanket Washing on Wheels program are operated by the Seoul Nambu Welfare Center for the Disabled, the organization responsible for carrying out the program. With the help of volunteers, blankets are collected from the homes of senior citizens and people with disabilities, after which they are washed, dried, and returned to their owners.
In 2015, the city’s blanket washing service was used the most by welfare centers for people with disabilities, making up 46.5 percent (1,022) of all users, followed by residents of rental apartments at 27.5 percent (604), members of social welfare centers at 12.7 percent (278), residents of housing facilities for people with disabilities at 6.1 percent (133), members of senior welfare centers at 5.5 percent (120), and members of community service centers at 1.8 percent (40). (Total of 2,197 residents)
Truck and washers and dryers of Seoul’s Blanket Washing on Wheels program