Arrow metal recycling symbol

Recycling crematory metals is something that has quickly become acceptable and even desirable at most crematoriums.

Instead of the metal being left to end up permanently in a landfill, or polluting the ashes of the deceased, why not instead recycle the metal?

Recycling metal is about more than just repurposing unwanted metals; it’s about creating a more sustainable, environmentally friendly crematory industry.

What are crematory metals?

Crematory metals are metal implants such as metal plates, screws, metal joints and so on. Metal implants must be made from non-corrosive metal such as titanium, stainless steel and cobalt-chromium.  These metals are designed to resist corrosion and remain intact over time.

Traditionally, crematoriums used to bury extraneous materials from cremations in landfills.

Today, however, there are other options.

Recycling crematory metals

In today’s current climate, clients and the crematoriums are becoming more environmentally aware. Recycling and repurposing implanted materials from the deceased not only helps the environment but can also save lives when, for example, a pacemaker can be recycled.

Metals used to be extracted using a magnet. There are mechanisms/machines that can extract the metals more efficiently using a combination of a perforated plate and magnet,  such as the one used in the Maximizer program.

Some companies supply these machines free of charge in return for the recycled materials. These companies supply containers and pay for the shipping.

The majority of crematoriums participate in some sort of program like this.

The recycling of materials, and reuse of products like a pacemaker, help bring comfort to grieving families.

Metallic chemistry

Once the metal is extracted from the remains, it is collected and sanitized. The metal is separated into ferrous and non-ferrous. Once separated, the companies carefully analyze the material before sending it off for meltdown and recycling.

Is recycling crematorium metals legal?

Yes, recycling of crematorium metals is a legal practice, so long as the crematorium has consent from the responsible family member of the deceased to do so.

If the family want to keep any of the metal, such as gold teeth, they must have it extracted prior to cremation. This is because, processors normally sit in a small cement pit, where it’s common for bits of dust and other small materials to get stuck. The collected material may not be 100% from the deceased, which would cause legal issues for the crematorium.

Recycling crematorium metals is becoming a standard practice among crematoriums. The crematoriums never keep the monies collected from programs such as the Maximizer program.

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