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No-flame cremations with £300,000 machine at Black Country crematorium

Sandwell | News | Published:

A Black Country crematorium is set to get a new £300,000 machine, which uses eco-friendly chemicals rather than flames.

The eco-friendly device is said to be the first of its kind in the UK. Called the Resomator, is already used in parts of America and speeds up the cremation process while producing less harmful emissions.

Estimated to cost in the region of £300,000, the new system is set to be brought in as part of the £1.3 million revamp of Rowley Regis Crematorium off Powke Lane.

The scheme uses cutting edge technology which means the bodies of loved ones will be turned to ashes using water-based chemicals.

A special wool coffin is placed into the Resomation chamber, and then body tissues are rapidly broken down through hydrolysis in an alkaline solution, leaving pure white bone ash.

This can be returned to bereaved families in an urn as it is following a traditional cremation.

The process which takes on average three to four hours is considered an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cremation because there are no emissions from the facility and the machinery is said to emit no significant noise.

However the council will need to consult Severn Trent Water, as any waste from the unit would be pumped to the main drainage on the site.

An application for the inclusion of the Resomator in the crematorium's expansion has been submitted to planners this week.

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In a statement from Sandwell Council attached to the application, it states: "Resomation allows individuals and families to express their environmental concerns and values in a very positive manner with one of their final actions in life."

The device is produced in West Yorkshire, but so far only three are in operation in America.

The Rowley Regis crematorium is one of two UK sites being considered for taking on a Resomator.

On its website Resomation Ltd's founder Sandy Sullivan states: "Over 135 years ago flame cremation offered fundamental change in the way we approached human disposition and some serious convincing was required before it was fully accepted.

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"Resomation now offers a new, innovative yet dignified approach which uses significantly less energy and emits significantly less greenhouse gasses than flame cremation and is another needed option that the public clearly wants and the environment clearly needs."

The expansion to the crematorium and chapel, which first opened in 1962, saw its capacity double to 120 mourners.

Other improvements included the creation of dedicated car parking, a new sheltered floral space, book of remembrance room, entrance, as well as better toilet facilities and alterations.

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