Bio-cremation offers green alternative to traditional burial
CTV Prince Albert
Published Tuesday, October 2, 2012 5:27PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, October 3, 2012 9:05AM CST
The province is the first in Canada to allow a new cremation option that uses liquid instead of fire. It is known as “Bio-Cremation” and it is a green option that makes your final resting place more environmentally friendly.
“Alkaline Hydrolysis” is the process of reducing the body to bone fragments using a mixture of pressure, water and chemicals. The chairman of the Funeral and Cremation Services Council of Saskatchewan, Todd Lumbard, says, “It is similar to cremation by flame, but it uses an alkaline liquid solution to do the same job.”
Families are still left with ashes in the end. But, it is a green option because the process uses significantly less energy. It doesn’t spew pollutants like carbon dioxide and mercury into the air and the liquid used to dissolve the tissue becomes sterile in the process and is simply drained into the sewer system.
Drew Gray is the Funeral Director at Gray’s Funeral Chapel in Prince Albert. He admits the process seems to be unsettling for some people,
“I’ve heard the term “ick factor” when the process is referenced, ” says Gray. But that isn’t stopping him from considering bio-cremation as an option for his customers.
“The city of Prince Albert is unqiue in that it doesn’t allow zoning for flame cremation. Alkaline Hydrolysis could be allowed in my current establishment because there are no emissions” says Gray.
Saskatchewan is the first province in Canada to allow human alkaline hydrolysis but Lumbard says it hasn’t caught on just yet.
“We haven’t seen anything in Saskatchewan specifically yet, but it is definitely being talked about in our profession and it is already prevalent in the United States.”
Gray says rather than investing in the new technology now, he will wait and poll customers on whether an environmentally focused end of life cremation strikes a chord with the public.