Human ashes in rubbish dump

Yard superintendent Kenny Macintyre with the urns containing ashes.
Yard superintendent Kenny Macintyre with the urns containing ashes.

Staff at a recycling plant were stunned to discover two urns containing human ashes among a delivery of rubbish dumped in their yard.

The unremarkable plastic containers would have been emptied and crushed had it not been for stickers with the names of the deceased and funeral dates.

Now bosses at Motherwell’s Newtown Waste Solutions are appealing for help to track down relatives of William Hunter and Mary Ann Hunter so that their ashes can be preserved.

The urns were discovered as rubbish was being sorted on a conveyor belt at the Albert Street depot last week.

Yard superintendent Kenny Macintyre said: “It was a surprise. We get some strange things in skips, but this is the strangest yet.”

It’s understood the urns were in a container delivered to the depot by a company involved in a house clearing.

However, it’s not known where the house was or who the occupant was. The only clues are that William Hunter was cremated at Daldowie in March 1997 and Mary Ann’s funeral was at Holytown Crematorium in September 2006.

Newtown director Billy Neilson said: “It’s not a nice way to end up so if there are any relatives of the Hunters out there we would be quite happy to give the ashes to them.”

Fellow director Martin McLinden added: “Sometimes we find old photos and it makes me sad because it’s someone’s history that’s been thrown away. This is similar.”