back to article Crematorium to heat council swimming pool

A funeral director has described Redditch Borough Council's plan to use crematorium furnaces to heat a municipal swimming pool as "a bit strange and eerie". The authority's novel idea involves sucking calories from Borough Of Redditch Cemeteries & Crematorium to the nearby Abbey Stadium Sports Centre. The facility's cremators …

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Paris Hilton

Don't mind myself

I wouldn't be around to object anyway. :)

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Its not like...

...they are using the remains to grit the path.

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Flame

Give it time...

In france they were using ash (not from crematoria though) for gritting over Christmas when they ran out of salt.

Are these people squeamish about organ donation? Are they vegetarians or something?

They sound happy enough to waste our fuel reserves and hasten the demise of civilisation due to global warming when they're gone.

When I'm dead, take me to Iceland and drop me in that unpronounceable volcano.

Oh wait, then we won't be able to use geothermal energy because there's dead people in it...

Light blue touchpaper....

Oh well.

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Joke

Now there's an idea...

... maybe, they could use this idea down at Heathrow next time there's a brief cold snap ....

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N2

Classic

Or turned into snuff, so they can even get up your nose when they die!

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Paris Hilton

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I love it where the green madness puts the tree huggers into uncomfortable situations.

Paris beacause.. far nicer to hug than a tree

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Silver badge

eh?

so only tree huggers feel uncomfortable about this? Or should everyone think it's wrong cos it's creepy, but the tree huggers are conflicted?

It seems to me that this is a sensible idea but I can understand how people could feel it was creepy. I don't think that feeling would be restricted to "tree huggers"....

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Explain, please

'Green madness'?

Tree huggers - uncomfortable?

Waste heat - most not produced by the stiffs - used to heat water.

Cracking idea.

'For years Dad's been on at us to turn the heating down, now he's heating the pool'

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Paris Hilton

I dunno...

...she's a bit boney and twiggy...

At least the tree would have more personality...

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sounds like

a good idea to me.

don't fall behind with your council tax though or you know where you'll end up

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Go

Don't see a problem, myself

It's not like the majority of the heat comes from the person.

And it's hardly 'green madness'. It's a money saving thing. And it's all tax payer money. so if it save the council money, it saves you money.

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And the issue is?

I'm not sure what the problem is. It would be inappropriate to have happy swimmers splashing around in sight of the crematorium, but that's a proximity issue, not about reclaiming the waste heat from the furnaces seems perfectly sensible. It's not as if somebody is promoting the composting of bodies or using them for methane production. The energy will be coming from the burning of gas. Dead bodies do not make good fuel.

Some people may recall a scene from Brave New World where the chimneys at Slough Crematorium were equipped to recover valuable chemicals from incinerated bodies, an invention which I feel owes more to artistic license than economics, but this is a step on the way.

There are also those who opt for "green burials" where they do, indeed, expect to fertilise the earth. Then there are those societies that practice sky burials and you get recycled for vulture food.

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Stop

Dead bodies do not make good fuel?

… in which case, why are they being used as fuel in Sweden?

http://www.thelocal.se/22610/20091012/

;)

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Doubtful

I'd like to see the technical details involved there. I suspect they are just chucking the bunnies into an incinerator with a load of combustible rubbish. A body with a lot of fat will contain quite a bit of fuel, but human beings are approximately two-thirds water, not to mention all the mineral parts that don't burn. When the road manager for Gram Parsons used five gallons of gasoline to try an incinerate his body and coffin at Joshua Tree in a sort of improvised cremation, he only partly succeeded.

In any case, just how many bunnies are running amok in Sweden to make any meaningful energy contribution?

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Boffin

Apples != oranges

Half a tonne of dead rabbits burning at a few hundred degrees in an incinerator does not equal a single human body being incinerated at a much higher temperature with gas jets in a crematorium, along with coffin, clothing, etc. etc.

The idea might scale up if you were to burn several hundred bodies at once an a power station, but somehow I don't think that would gain widespread acceptance...

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Boffin

Dead bodies for fuel & The Matrix

This was what I pondered when I saw the *only* cough Matrix film - surely burning the bodies would be better, than trying to generate BTU's from them while alive?

Given any energy (nutrients) going into the system are still subjects to the normal laws of physics and suffer "conversion loss", I'd have thought that generating BTU's from live bodies was far less efficient than just burning the source nutrients for the bodies in the first place.

It's not a practical experiment I'll be performing for Class 8 it should be said...

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Superb!

As a Redditch resident I love the idea - the heat is there anyway as the fires aren't actually fueled by the bodies, so why not use it? And the BBC are reporting that Unison (god bless'em) are calling it "distasteful" but, as the £14,500 per annum is likely the salary of a council employee job, would they really prefer a redundancy to save the same money?

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Can't blame Unison

Once you have been unionized, you are pre-programmed to object to any change, whether it materially affects you or not. It's just a Pavlovian response, like Bob Crow wanting a 10% pay rise.

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Anonymous Coward

@IanB

"as the £14,500 per annum is likely the salary of a council employee job"

Ah, this must be one those overpaid public servants we keep hearing so much about.

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Anonymous Coward

erm

"I think trying to save money due to the death of someone's family member or friend is a bit sick" as opposed to making a fortune out of that death with frighteningly expensive coffins which are just going in a fire anyway?

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Flame

Soylent Green Energy

It's People!

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Go

Natural fit?

More people die in the Winter: We need more energy in the Winter. Seems like a natural fit.

(unless it's all used to heat old peoples homes which could lead to a bizarre fuel shortage/excess loop)

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Go

Hot water

Presumaly most of the heat comes from the gas jets that are needed to get to 800 C. I doubt the burning body and coffin add more than a few percent to the total.

I suppose they could also do it the other way round and use the exhaust gasses from the swimming pool boilers to preheat the cremators.

Surely there needs to be a back up system for the swimming pool anyway, as I can't see the crem storing up bodies* for burning only when the pool is open.

* As in "Put fatso on one side in case we get a cold snap".

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Good idea

It costs over a fiver to get a swim in the local pools, anything that can keep that from rising sounds like a good idea.

If in doubt, don't tell anyone. Call it Redditch Council Combined Heat and Power reclamation, bury the details in the third annex to the second footnote, put the whole report in a disused filing cabinet in a cupboard in the cellar behind a door which says "beware of the leopard" and when someone complains tell them that the plans have been on display an if they can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, then it's their own fault. Apathetic blo....

Anyways, more seriously. If we are going to be serious about energy conservation, then decisions like this are necessary. Heat is energy used, and rather than waste it, find something to do with.

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Coat

How's it creepy?

Unless the council are planning on deliberately offing a few people to keep the furnace topped up and keep costs down, I really don't see the problem. Well, that or running a "Breast(stroke) In Peace" promotion at the leisure centre immediately afterwards...

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Great Idea

This is a really good idea. Whether you buy the global warming thing or not (and I do), it makes sense to use resources as fully as possible. This should definitely be done more, or would we rather pay more local taxes?

The local funeral director is logically incorrect in his complaints. The swimming people isn't being heated "due to" the death of those being cremated. Neither is the saving being made "due to" the death of family or friends.

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Flame

Hmm.

I can see a lot of outraged ghosts haunting the swimming pool.

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Joke

Re: Hmm.

Like Rentaghost meets The Brittas Empire?

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Flame

Frying tonight

As an elderly relative of mine said when her husband shuffled off the mortal coil:

"I'm having the old bugger cremated. It'll give him a chance to get used to the heat."

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What's the problem?

Generally by the time cremation happens you've generally finished with your body....sounds like a bloody good idea to me!

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Coat

So when someone complains....

...that it's 'dead hot in here', they wont be far wrong.

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Pint

Not a bad idea

When you really think about it. Why waste that energy? use it somewhere else.

You could also offer the mourners a 'free' ticket to the pool to bath in their loved ones emanations.

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FAIL

Hypocrite

"I'm not comfortable with it at all and I think trying to save money due to the death of someone's family member or friend is a bit sick."

Said the funeral director. But making a living off the death of someone's family member or friend is fine?

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Go

It's just a tradition

I already heat my home by burning the methane derived from my great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather, god bless his diatomic skeleton.

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Stop

But . . .

But you're burning dead children as well - won't anyone think of the children?!

And all those dead trees and birds and flowers and fishes animals, doesn't anyone care about the environment anymore.

Now I know why the dinosaurs died out -- it's heartless (heatless?) buggers like you setting fire to them.

I bet you burnt the Baby Jesus as well.

As the great philosopher 'The Pub Landlord' once said - 'Shame on you, Shame on you!'

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Pint

Burn baby, burn..

Damn good point.. What are we doing if not heating ourselves with the bodies of the dead already!

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Good idea

I always said I would like to be cremated in a power station, after any useful bits have been cut out and stashed ..... this definitely sounds like a step in the right direction.

It's frankly obscene burning *anything* and not reclaiming the energy.

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Anonymous Coward

Whats the issue

It's waste heat, thats all.

At the moment it's being vented to the open air, the net result will be the same, just the air will be cooler as it will have gone through a heat exchanger.

Net result no difference.

Great idea.

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Anonymous Coward

re: the air will be cooler ...

... so it might not make it to heaven, and bits of the dear departed may condense in the heat exchanger. I suspect the former is the sort of idea that worries the people who are bothered by it, although they'd probably feel foolish to express it in those terms. As for the latter, someone is going to have the hazardous and icky job of cleaning it, and I wonder how they could dispose of the residue.

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Coat

Later, in the office of the Council's Chief Executive....

"Excuse me sir, your 10am is here. Mr Burke and Mr Hare with their proposals for improving our inadequate pool-heating system and reducing our care home costs."

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Stop

burning is a waste

If god didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?

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Go

Hmmm... can't see the problem...

I very much doubt that anyone in the leisure centre would give a monkey's about where the heat to warm up the swimming pool comes from... as long as the water's warm and usable all year round.

From the ecological standpoint this is a perfectly good solution. It shows that combination heating (using the waste heat) will save money all around, regardless of what is being incinerated (coal, rubbish, corpses).

The media making a mountain out of a mole heap again, as usual. Must've been a very slow news day.

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Happy :-)

didnt expect to see this about my home town on this site but still. im happy with the idea. as are the majority of local residents.

"so far Redditch Standard readers are expressing overwhelming support for the proposal."

http://redditchstandard.co.uk/story-Union-leaders-slam-crematorium-heat-plan-33144.html

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@Neil CM Burns

Ta for the link. So what we have here is a case of union leeches^Hleaders utterly out of touch with the true wishes of the populous they claim to represent. Who'd have thought it?

Nice name/story convergence by the way.

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Pirate

Death happens...

... deal with it!

Why are people so squeamish about the end of a natural process?

People are born, they live, they die, that's the way it's always happened and for most of human history it's all happened in one room, so when granny pops her clogs it's no great shock.

But now we seem to want to deny it happens, people don't die in their beds, they die in hospitals and we tell kiddies that granny has "gone to live with Jesus" or some other nonsense to stop them getting upset (we're Thinking Of The Children!) and so anything to do with death is seen as "creepy" and sensible ideas such as this get to be big news because, well, it's icky, isn't it?

(Should I use the Skull and Cross Bones Icon or the Flames Icon on this post...?)

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RE: Death happens...

How very clinical.

I wonder if you'll find consolence in your words when someone close to you dies. Perhaps your mother, or wife. It'll come as no great shock.

Regards.

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Anonymous Coward

re: How very clinical.

No, he's right - people try to brush death under the rug at the same time as indulging in the sort of emotional hysteria associated with the death of Diana, princess of our hearts. It's just not healthy. One of the side-effects of the death-denial thing is that people aren't comfortable talking about it, and this actually makes it harder for the genuinely bereaved to cope. In a sensible world everyone knows that people die, those close to them grieve then get on with their lives, and in most cases it's not a terrible tragedy but just the way it works.

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Re: RE: Death happens...

I for one agree with the OP, I also haven't taken the death of friends and family close to me particularly well in the past. I don't think he's saying he'd shrug his wife's death off, more that while it's distressing there's no point in being squeamish about it. You are after all highly likely to die at some stage in the future.*

The whole using euphemisms for death around children is daft. What child will want to go to bed after being told that Granny or their bunny has gone to sleep and they'll never be seen again.

I also had a enjoyable chat with some bible bashers on my door step once. I told them that I'll die, be put in a box in the ground (or an oven) and that's that. It doesn't mean I won't shit myself if I ever find myself spiralling to my death in an aeroplane.

* I say highly likely as there are about 6,895,600,000 people in the world, and estimates of the number of people to have lived is 100-115 billion, therefore you have a 6.0-6.9% chance of dying.**

** Can you say for absolute certainty that the secret to eternal life will not be found before you die of natural causes.***

*** Thought not.

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@Graham Marsden

>>"and we tell kiddies that granny has "gone to live with Jesus" or some other nonsense to stop them getting upset."

I'd have thought that many kids would be less likely to think "Granny's dead -> OMG, I'm going to die!" than "Granny's dead -> less Xmas presents for me!".

Even knowing that people die, many teenagers still seem to act as if they think they're immortal, and I'm not sure how much different smaller children are.

Some might need/want the happy myths, but I'm not sure their need is greater than many adults.

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