What happens to metals that are left after a cremation?


In the past all crematoria removed metal such as orthopaedic implants and screws used in the construction of the coffin and disposed of the metal by burying it within the grounds of the crematorium. Thankfully, things have moved on since those days.  Nowadays in accordance with the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authories (FBCA) policy any metal (i.e. orthopaedic implants, jewellery, nails and pins used in the construction of the coffin) that is left after cremation is removed and is sent for re-cycling.  In the case of Baldarroch Chapel and Crematorium we use a company called OrthoMetals who are based in the Netherlands.  OrthoMetals re-coup the current market value of each type of metal and keep 20% to cover the cost of transportation, sorting and smelting costs etc.  The remaining 80% is returned to us for donation local bereavement related charities.  The money raised by the re-cycling of metals from Baldarroch Chapel and Crematorium will be donated to a Charity or Charities or the Directors choice at our annual Memorial Service.

Please note that precious metal such as jewellery left on the deceased will melt during the cremation process, combine with ash and become granular and hence unrecognisable. Some is lost within the cremator and some will be within the ashes. A proportion is found in the containers where other metals are kept whilst awaiting recycling. We would strongly advise that jewellery is not left on the deceased but is retained by the relatives as it is more valuable to them.  Applicant’s for cremation should be aware that they have to choice to ‘opt out’ of the re-cycling scheme and elect to have the metals returned with the ashes.