When the deceased chooses cremation, what happens to medical implants that are removed before the cremation process? When thinking about recycling inside of the deathcare industry, most industry professionals are familiar with seeing recycling for crematories. Recyclers offering full-service programs have long been known for their abundance of calls to owners about dental implants collected in their processing areas. But there is a whole other subset of recycling that has fallen to the wayside amongst recyclers because of their focus on the value of dental implants.

Throughout the years, we’ve found more of our crematorium partners that offer trade services asking – “Is there anything you can do for our funeral directors that are removing pacemakers when preparing the deceased for cremation?” We recognize that every funeral home does not own a crematory. We also recognize, and are cognizant, that our crematory partners strive to put together the best possible service and solutions for the funeral homes they serve. Fundamentally, the way we serve customers is very similar to these partners. We believe that it’s important for us to learn, understand, and educate first and to provide a reputable and transparent service second.

Why is it important for us to understand the folks we serve first? To ensure they’re educated to make the best possible decision for their business, regardless of whether they choose to use our service or not. Based on this mantra, we feel as if funeral homes across the country have been underserved by the recycling community. Because of this, they have received a lack of information about the contents of a pacemaker and a viable solution for them to properly recycle them. It’s far too often we hear from Funeral Directors that pacemakers are “sitting in the back in a box on the shelf, occasionally beeping.”

So why should funeral homes recycle pacemakers? It’s because some of the pacemaker manufacturers are utilizing wiring that is platinum coated material that has value. The reality is that value isn’t going to move mountains, but the larger picture here is that pacemakers have the potential to find their way into the trash or bio-hazard bins. By recycling them, you are giving your business a proper way to record disposing of them from your facility, in addition to preventing items such as lithium batteries from going into landfills and damaging the environment.

If no one is serving funeral homes without crematories, why is PMRS? The answer is simple, it’s part of being full-service and caring about the industry we serve. It’s recognizing that not every funeral home has a crematory, but they do have a need that warrants our type of business. It’s also recognizing that our job isn’t fully done if there are Funeral Directors out there that don’t have the proper way to recycle their medical implants that contain valuable precious metals.

If you have a funeral home without a crematory we encourage you to start learning more by initially reaching out to our team for questions and general education on pacemakers!

Written By:

Melissa Polis

Melissa Polis | National Director of Sales

mpolis@pmrs-refining.com | 609-678-5282 (cell)


Melissa has over a decade of experience working in the Death Care and Jewelry Industry. As a Graduate Gemologist, she brings a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of precious metals and is passionate about educating her clients to ensure they’re making the best decisions for their business.

Melissa currently resides in Medford, NJ with her husband DJ, their two daughters Charlotte and Cameran, and their dog Sunday. Most weekends you can find Melissa spending quality time with her family and checking out local wineries!