Crematorium recycles metal body parts to raise £10k for Chorley charity

The latest hoard of metal recovered from cremated bodies in Lancashire has been weighed in for charity.
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And a group which supports people in Chorley recovering from drug and alcohol abuse has benefitted to the tune of £10,000.

Charnock Richard Crematorium has just handed over the cash raised from recycling metal hip joints, dental implants, brass coffin handles and nameplates to volunteers at Watch Us Grow.

Are bereaved families aware this happens?

Charnock Richard Crematorium raised £10,000 for charity from recycled metal body parts.Charnock Richard Crematorium raised £10,000 for charity from recycled metal body parts.
Charnock Richard Crematorium raised £10,000 for charity from recycled metal body parts.
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Crematorium bosses have reassured the public it is all done with the full consent of relatives.

"When families are asked about whether they would like to allow for any metal recovered from their loved one following the cremation process to be donated to the metal recycling scheme, with proceeds then going to charity, they are happy to allow for this," said Suzanne Orr, business leader at Charnock Richard Crematorium.

"The vast majority of families give their consent and complete a form. However if they do not want to, then they can choose not to partake in the scheme and the metal recovered is returned to the family.

"It is made very clear to families that any metal recovered from the cremation process is recycled with all proceeds being donated to charity.”

The privately-run crematorium is one of scored across the UK which run the charity recycling scheme.The privately-run crematorium is one of scored across the UK which run the charity recycling scheme.
The privately-run crematorium is one of scored across the UK which run the charity recycling scheme.

Which other crematoria recycle metal remains?

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Privately owned Charnock Richard is part of Dignity plc, a company which runs 46 crematoria across the UK, including the one in Powder House Lane, Lancaster.

A nationwide recycling scheme, administered by the Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries, has raised millions for charities over the past few years.

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Preston Crematorium, owned and run by the city council, also takes part in the recycling scheme. It joined in 2017 and its first donation was £5,000 to St Catherine's Hospice.

What has the council said about the scheme?

Back in 2017 Coun Robert Boswell, cabinet member for community and environment, said: “The money comes from recycling metal left over at cremations, including screws, nails and any artificial joints such as metal hips and knees.

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"As more and more people have replacement joints fitted, the city council has to respond and be able to recycle the metal materials left behind.

"It’s fitting that we can do this in a sensitive and suitable way that helps local charities, and in turn helps people coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.”

How does it work?

During a cremation most metals survive the heat, particularly iron, steel, brass and titanium.

Families sign a form to authorise recycling. Those who decide not to can take the metal remains away for disposal.

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All metal artefacts, which include nails and staples from coffins, are stored at the crematorium to await collection by a specialist company.

The metal is taken to a refinery for recycling. Some artificial hip or knee joints go to make new metal prosthetics. The rest is smelted down in the normal way for use in industry.

Which company handles the recycling?

OrthoMetals is based in Meppel in the Netherlands and processes tons of material every day from around the world.

The company deals with around 1,250 crematoria in more than 30 countries and has been recycling metal body parts for the past 25 years.

Charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Support, Trinity Hospice in Blackpool and Blackpool and Fylde Miscarriage Association have all benefitted.

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