Last night, Redditch Borough Council voted in favour of a planning application to re-direct heat from the town’s crematorium to warm a new swimming pool at the Abbey Stadium leisure centre. This is not only a more environmentally-friendly way of dealing with emissions but it will also save around £14,560 in heating costs. You might think that this is a win-win situation but the local labour union, Unison have called the plans, “sick and an insult to local residents.”
This does seem an odd attitude to take but I guess they think that it must be sacrilegious. Maybe there is some notion that the fumes of the fire contain the essence of the individual and should rise towards heaven or some supernatural belief like that rather than circulating round heating ducts. Not surprisingly, I heard a Reverend on Radio 4 criticising the plans. I expect that the more practical we treat the disposal of the dead, the less room there is for religious ceremony.
Apparently, the council received overwhelming support from residents. But how far can we go with this utilitarian approach. When you consider the fossil fuel required for cremating bodies in the US is equivalent to the amount to send a car to the moon and back again – 84 times a year! then it does seem very wasteful. Burial seems so much more eco-friendly but according to this site, burial is also an environmental disaster.
Sky burials are probably the most eco-friendly way of disposing of bodies but somehow I don’t think we will see this in the parks across Britiain (BEWARE images are not suitable for the squeamish). I don’t think that pigeons would be so efficient as vultures.