Some £15,000 has been donated to charity as a result of reclaiming and recycling metal from the cremators at Bath’s Haycombe crematorium.
Common items like medical pins and artificial joints are retrieved from the cremated remains of a loved one and recycled through a national scheme which donates the proceeds to charity.
The not-for-profit Recycling of Metals Scheme is run by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) of which Bath & North East Somerset Council is a member.
Members of the scheme collect the metal arising from the cremators and the money raised is divided between ICCM members for distribution among charities.
In the last financial year £15,000 in total was donated by Haycombe Cemetery and Crematorium, in equal amounts to the RUH Forever Friends Appeal, Cruse Bereavement Care, and the Make-A-Wish foundation.
To qualify for donations from the scheme, charities are selected on the basis they have to assist the bereaved or those who are terminally ill.
Types of metal found in cremators range from steel hip joints, metal plates, wires, screws or rods – used during surgery for bone fractures to brain aneurysm clips – and small metal clips used to seal blood vessels in the brain.
A council spokesperson said that a spanner was one of the “more unusual” and unexplained items retrieved.
Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for development and neighbourhoods, said: “After we have respectfully retrieved the cremated remains of a loved one, we then collect any metal from pins or artificial joints that we find in the cremator.
“As members of the ICCM we are part of the Recycling Metals Scheme and money raised from our collection is then donated to charity twice or three-times each year.
“I hope people who are bereaved take comfort from the fact the money raised from the metal goes to support charities including the RUH Forever Friends Appeal, Cruse Bereavement Care, and the Make-A-Wish foundation.
“Although we are looking into adding more local charities to benefit from these funds.”
Any local charities which meet the criteria can get in touch with staff at Haycombe Cemetery and Crematorium on 01225 396020 or email them directly firstname.lastname@example.org.