Saturday 16 November 2019

Dutch firm recycles metal left behind after cremations

Knee and hip prosthesis for medicineA metal processing company in Meppel, Drenthe, has raised almost €10m for charity since 2011 by recycling metal gleaned from crematoria, the AD said in Friday.

OrthoMetals imports metal left after cremations from some 750 locations in Europe and the US, sorts it out and then sells it on to smelters to be reused by the car and aviation industries.The metal comes not only from coffin handles but screws and artificial hips and knees.

The profit made on metal collected from Dutch cremations goes to a special charity set up by the crematoria themselves, the paper said. It is collected twice a year in unmarked lorries.

‘You don’t want to arrive at a crematorium where a service is underway and start loading in the containers full of metal,’ director Jan-Willem Gabriels told the paper.

The AD said the Dutch firm is the only company in the world to focus solely on recycling crematoria waste. It was founded in 1997 by Gabriels’ father who discovered that the metal left after a cremation was thrown away.

‘We do our work with respect but we don’t handle every artificial hip with kid gloves,’ he said. ‘It is a company after all.’

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