North East Lincolnshire Council’s crematorium has donated the money raised from a metal recycling scheme to St. Andrew’s Hospice.
St. Andrew’s Hospice was chosen to receive £5,000 being the surplus from the sale of recycled metal materials recovered following cremations.
The scheme is operated by the council in conjunction with the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.
When a cremation has taken place the remains contain metal from the coffin and often from orthopaedic implants like hip and knee replacement joints.
In the past this metal was removed and buried in the grounds of the cemetery. More recently however, with the onset of modern waste management regulations, the Environment Agency indicated that once the metal is removed from the cremated remains it becomes waste, albeit very sensitive material.
Councillor David Watson, portfolio holder for environment, said:
St. Andrew’s Hospice is a really fantastic cause that gives people who are facing very difficult circumstances some very valuable support.
It isn’t often that we as Cabinet members get to make such a direct impact on people’s lives in this way, and we’re really pleased to be able to make this donation.
The metals are collected by a specialist company and taken to Sheffield for sorting and smelting. The higher-grade cobalt steel is sent to two companies that manufacture new orthopaedic implants and the remainder low-grade or ferrous metals are returned to traditional recycling.
In all cases, the consent of the nearest relatives to the deceased is sought prior to the cremation and subsequent recycling of metals.