Sunday, April 14, 2013

UK crematoriums recycle metal body parts


Metal hips, knees, plates and screws left behind after cremation are being turned into road signs and car parts

Lamp posts, road signs, car parts and aircraft engines could contain recycled bits of the dead. Crematoriums have turned to recycling programs to unload metal replacement parts like skull plates, bone screws, hips and knees.
OrthoMetals, the Dutch company behind the recycling, says around half of Britain's 260 crematoriums have signed up for the program which is generating 75 metric tons of metal per year. Owner Ruud Verberne, said that "what is important is that the metals are being recycled, and this is a growing business both in Britain and elsewhere in Europe."

Relatives are asked if they want to keep metal parts of loved ones before cremations by the centres taking part in the scheme. Yahoo News UK reports that the majority of families have no need for the parts and agree to have them recycled.

High value metals, such as cobalt and titanium which survive cremation are then sold for use in the automobile and aeronautical industries. Less valuable metals are melted down and sold for more general purposes including road signs and lamp posts.

Even metal plates from false teeth and tiny fragments from fillings can be recovered and re-used, along with metal fittings on coffins.

Profit on the recycled remains is donated to charity and almost $1.5 million has been raised since the project began in Britain in 2004.

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