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Would You Swim in a Pool Heated by a Crematorium?

Would You Swim in a Pool Heated by a Crematorium?

A town in the UK, Redditch in Worcestershire, has proposed a rather novel way to

  • heat its new Abbey Stadium sports center and swimming pool
  • save money (£14,500 a year; about $22,886)
  • combat global warning and reduce its carbon footprint

Redditch council proposes to use heat from a neighboring crematorium to heat the new sports facilities and pool, the January 24th Guardian reports. The project would have been (I guess I’m not surprised?) the ‘first project of its kind’ in the UK. 

The Guardian  quotes a range of opinions that suggest the (not surprising) ambivalence felt about such an arrangement:

Simon Thomas, of Thomas Brothers funeral directors, said: “I don’t know how comfortable people would feel about the swimming pool being heated due to the death of a loved one, I think it’s a bit strange and eerie.”

Council leader Carole Gandy defended the plans, saying it would save money and energy. “I’d much rather use the energy rather than just see it going out of the chimney and heating the sky. It will make absolutely no difference to the people who are using the crematorium for services.””It’s only a proposal at the moment but personally I’m supportive of it because I think it will save the authority money and, in the long-term, save energy which is what we’re all being told we should do.”

Gordon Hull, from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, said: “From an environmental view it makes sense.”

According to the January 26th TVNZ, the crematorium-heating-pool idea has been ‘slammed’ as ‘sick’ and an ‘insult’ to local residents by critics.  A public meeting to discuss the plan will be held on Thursday, the Daily Mail reports; the council’s executive committee will then meet next Tuesday to discuss the plan.

Is the proposal to heat a swimming pool via a crematorium an idea that is ‘ahead of its time’—-or simply too sick to merit further consideration?

Previous Care2 posts:

Human Body Heat Used To Power Buildings In Sweden (Video)Top 5 Energy Issues To Watch In 2011
Is It Possible To Switch To 100 Percent Renewables By 2030?
Empire State Building Switches To 100% Renewable Energy


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Photo by faungg.

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2:44AM PDT on Aug 9, 2015

A usefull way to use the dead they dont feel anything so whats the problem its saving electricty and its doing something positive for the swimming baths

11:38AM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

Robert O.

Do you shop at discount stores? How do you know the relatives of someone who dies didn't put their clothes and shoes in a box and take it to Goodwill? Or their kitchen tools, or anything else of theirs? We did that with carloads of my mothers old stuff. How do you know that someone didn't die of a heart attack in the lounge chair you just bought from the local used furniture charity like the Salvation Army?

You don't. So since you have no real control over whether or not you touch or are touched by things once owned or used by dead people, why be so particular? All it is is waste heat.

8:09AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

i don't see anything wrong with it! i know redditch quite well and this would be one way of getting the birmingham/wolverhampton folks to visit! once you're dead, you're dead. if the heat used can be put to another good use, you're killing two birds with one stone. i realise the pun but excuse me for it!

10:29PM PST on Dec 5, 2011

Oh hell yes! To think that my body being cremated, which it will be, can be used for something positve on this earth is nothing but a good thing! We can't keep getting buried; the land is needed for other things besides a cemetary. "Ashes to ashes and dust to dust" and we get to help the planet too!

2:09AM PST on Dec 4, 2011

Rather than swim in a cold pool, yes, and let's hope the mercury fillings have been removed. I know that one day, I will heat a crematorium and would like to think the energy could be used for something positive.

11:33PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

Both my parents were cremated. The Romans were cremated. I'd be cremated too. I think I urned it.

3:14PM PST on Dec 3, 2011


10:50AM PST on Dec 3, 2011

We are energy! way to go (literally!!) Right direction!

9:53PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Oh, wow, why didn't the author put a poll in here? I'm all for it, it's just waste heat after all, the dead are staying on the other property!

5:15PM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

What carbon "footprint" does cremation create? How many cremations are performed daily in the U.S.A. and Canada?

Without these answers to simple questions, and other questions to come, it is a "one-point" graph.

As of now, any answer is like proving a negative - impossible.

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