British towns recycling metal body parts into street signs

A British town council has proven that reincarnation is possible. But it's likely that you'll return to the Earth as a lamp post.

When residents of several British towns die, if their bodies contain any metal parts, such as replacement hip joints, those pieces are often recycled after cremation and used for street signs or safety barriers, according to the Bristol Post.

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The story said Bristol City Council was considering adopting a similar system.

A Dutch company called operates the existing recycling program, according to Yahoo News UK. The company describes itself as the global leader in the implant recycling market on its website.

Family members are asked if they want to keep metal parts that belonged to their loved ones before the metal pieces are offered as recyclables, according to the Bristol Post.

In fact, this idea isn't new. Ontario environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe published a blog post on the issue in 2009, including a link to a British form with an option to authorize the recycling of a loved one's metal parts.

She also mentioned that legally, it would be possible to have the same recycling procedures in Ontario.

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Saxe was responding to a piece that had been published in The Economist that year, describing the work of a crematorium association in Denmark that was selling metal body parts for recycling.

"Using corpses for greenery may be a step too far," the tagline read.

Not so in 2013.