A scheme which raises charity cash by recycling metal from cremated bodies has been launched by Doncaster Council.
The ‘Recycling Metals for Cremation Scheme’ has already raised £3,472 which is being handed over to worthy causes associated with death.
The scheme, run by the council’s Bereavement Services, is operated through the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.
Money is raised by recycling metals left following cremation, with the family’s written consent.
The metal could be from hip or knee replacements or from the construction of the coffin.
The institute consulted with the Royal Dutch Cremation Federation, which has a metal recycling scheme in operation in the Netherlands, and decided to model the UK scheme on it.
A specialist company called Orthometals is contracted to provide special containers to UK scheme members and carry out periodic collections.
The metals are then broken down and money raised is given back to the members, who allocate the cash to a charity associated with death such as the Heart Foundation or Cancer Research.
A spokesman said: “Following a cremation, the remains contain metals such as items used in the construction of the coffin and on numerous occasions orthopaedic implants such as hip and knee replacement joints.
“In the past this metal was removed from the cremated remains and buried within the grounds of the crematorium.”
The institute says the scheme raises money for charities which concentrate on research to help future generations but also boosts the environment because less metal is being buried.
This year Doncaster Bereavement Services donated the money raised to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Coun Joe Blackham, Doncaster Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods, enforcement and trading services, said: “This is a very sensitive scheme but it is in a worthwhile cause where money raised can help others in need.”