The Maidstone Borough Council’s (MBC) Crematorium has donated £14,000 to Parkinson’s UK, a charity that helps people living with the neurological condition.
The money comes from the Crematorium Metal Recycling Scheme, which collects metals from cremations with the consent of the bereaved families. The metals, such as those from artificial joints, are sent to a company in Sheffield that melts them and uses them to make new orthopaedic implants or other products. The scheme is a respectful and eco-friendly way to remember the deceased and support a good cause.
Lawrence Hallewell, Branch Fund Raiser from the Parkinson’s branch in Maidstone said:
“I still can’t quite believe the generous donation to our local branch of Parkinson’s UK. It will make such a difference. We support local members, their families and carers with activities and events aimed at improving the quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s. This money will go towards the costs of our numerous activities, thank you so much.”
Cllr Patrik Garten, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services at Maidstone Borough Council said:
“We are so grateful for the generosity of bereaved families who make the difficult decision to consent to orthopaedic implants such as knee and hip replacement joints being removed from the ashes. We really can’t thank them enough; it is heart-warming to know so many local charities have been helped through this scheme.”
The scheme is run by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) https://iccm-uk.com/iccm/?pagename=recyclingmetal. Since joining in 2013 the Council has donated £161,076.00 to bereavement related charities.
MBC joined the scheme in 2012, prior to this, implants from loved ones used to be stored at the crematorium until there was a sufficient amount and would then be buried within the Gardens of Remembrance.
As this method of disposal has become less acceptable and like many other crematoriums in the UK and the continent, any metal residue found will be recycled unless the family wish to make alternative arrangements.
The metals used for implants are special medical grade stainless steel, titanium and cobalt chrome, which are all produced from non-renewable resources. In the future, these resources will become depleted and such metals will become less available for operations. Therefore, this recycling scheme helps to protect the environment as well as saving resources and providing potential benefits for the living.