Metals recycling scheme

The Metals recycling scheme is operated on behalf of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) under a contract with OrthoMetals, a UK subsidiary of a company that provides the same service in Holland. Under this contract OrthoMetals provide the equipment, staff, vehicles and other resources necessary to collect and process recycled metals.

The service is provided at no cost to those crematoriums which have signed up to the scheme. Any surplus money from the recycling process is given to the Institute annually and shared equally between local bereavement charities nominated by the participating crematoriums.

Hereford Crematorium is a member of the ICCM Recycling Metals scheme. After each cremation, the metal is removed from the cremated remains and placed in containers which are then collected every six months by OrthoMetals. The metals are then sorted where the higher grade cobalt steel and titanium alloys are separated from the ferrous metals, smelted and sold back into the recycling stream. The higher grade metals come from orthopaedic implants. Staples and nails used in the coffin construction make up the ferrous lower grade metal.

It is important to note that metals will not be recycled without the next of kin’s permission. Permission is sought at the time of the funeral arrangements when completing the cremation forms. If families do not wish the metals to be recycled then they will be returned to them.

Since 2011 this scheme has raised £104,624 for local charities. They include: Macmillan Cancer Support, Cruse Bereavement Care, Marie Curie Cancer Care, St Michael's Hospice, Home Start, Phoenix Bereavement Support Services, Winstone's Wish Gloucester, Rocky-Lee's Little Feet, The Haven, The Ely Memorial Fund, Powys Sands, Daisychain Benevolent Fund Trust, The CLD Trust (Counselling Learning Development, Make A Wish (creates magical wishes to children with critical illnesses), Alzheimer's Research UK, WAY - Widowed and Young.

For more information about this scheme or to put your charity forward for consideration, please email the crematorium at or telephone 01432 383200.