£1,000s raised thanks to recycling project
A PROJECT which recycles metal collected after a person is cremated has raised thousands of pounds for charity.
Macclesfield Crematorium is part of the Recycling of Metals scheme which recovers and re-uses metal from hips, plates and screws from legs and skulls.
The metals which survive the 1000-degree cremation are then sold for use in the automobile and aeronautical industries. Over the last year money raised from the sale of metal collected from Macclesfield and Crewe crematoriums means £4,321 is to be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Coun Lesley Smetham, deputy chairman of Orbitas, Bereavement Services, the Cheshire East Council-owned company which runs the cemeteries, said: “Our crematoria in Macclesfield and Crewe have been recycling metals since early 2008. In the past, metal was removed from the cremated remains and buried within the grounds of the crematorium as the bereaved had never expressed any desire for it to be returned to them.
“Recycling benefits the environment and 80 per cent of the proceeds goes to bereavement related charities including Macmillan Cancer Support; local hospices and the Heart Foundation.
“Staff at Orbitas always ask permission of the family before any metal is recycled and we are always happy to discuss this issue and answer any questions that families might have.”
The nationwide scheme, which is governed by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, was first launched in 2005.
Since then it has raised more than £1m for charity.
The salvaged metal from cremations is put in large wheelie bins and collected by contractors who take it to specialist plants for recycling.
Metals collected include cobalt and titanium, found in some implants and dental work. Cobalt is used in aircraft engines.
Less valuable metals are smelted down and sold for more general use - including road signs, motorway barriers and lamp posts.
Coun Penny Butterill, director of Orbitas, added: “It’s good to know that something beneficial can come out of what is a very hard time for bereaved families. I hope they are able to take comfort in the scheme and that their consent has added to the donation, which will help greatly towards providing cancer care in the area.”
●● Mary Slinn, chief operating officer, Coun Penny Butterill, director, Carl Fisher, Macmillan, Cllr Lesley Smetham, deputy chairman, and Christine Heathcote, bereavement officer