From new hip to scrap to help charity groups

Cremation fees have been scrapped in the overhaul
Cremation fees have been scrapped in the overhaul

Hip replacements, dental fillings and coffin fixtures are being recovered and sold for scrap to help charitable causes.

Two tons of metal is retrieved each year by Dutch company OrthoMetals from crematoriums across Scotland including Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline.

Our crematoriums in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline have actually been recycling metals since early 2007

Liz Murphy

It is then recycled and reused in items such as road signs and car parts and any income raised is donated to bereavement related charities.

The Recycling of Metals scheme was first launched across the UK in 2005.

Money from recycled metal which couldn’t be disposed of in another effective, clean or friendly way, was then awarded to charity.

The success of the scheme in Fife was revealed last week by Liz Murphy, Fife Council’s bereavement services manager.

She said: “Our crematoriums in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline have actually been recycling metals since early 2007.

“In previous years, we would have buried this material discreetly in the crematorium gardens but space was becoming an issue.

“Recycling not only benefits the environment, but 80 per cent of the proceeds also go to bereavement related charities including Cancer Research and the Heart Foundation,” she continued.

“Families are always asked for their permission before any metal is recycled and we are always happy to discuss this issue and answer any questions they might have.”

A spokesman for ICCM who works in partnership with OrthaMetals, said: “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 its return to them.

“Once the metal is removed, it does becomes waste, albeit still sensitive material, so we do handle the process with care and consideration for all the families involved.

“It is effectively money from waste that goes a long way in helping a great number of charities.”

The Recycling Metals scheme

Since it began in the UK 10 years ago, the scheme has raised close £1 million for a number of bereavement related charities.

Scheme members (the crematoriums involved) nominate charities to receive donations.

These have included Cancer Research, Friends in Bereavement, Cruse, Alzheimers Society and the Samaritains.

For more information on the scheme and what is involved, you can visit