As a signatory to the Oslo-Paris Commission (OSPAR) agreement on eliminating mercury emissions from crematoria, the UK agreed to reduce 50% mercury emissions from crematoria by 2012. But by 2020 all crematoria within the UK (roughly 240 facilities) will need to have a zero emissions rate. This means local councils and private organisations which run crematoria will need to either install entirely new cremation equipment, and/or integrate mercury abatement systems.
When dental amalgam is incinerated, Mercury is emitted into the air from the incinerator stack. This can then be inhaled, or deposited, via rain into seas and rivers, accumulating in the aquatic food chain and potentially ending up on our plates. As Mercury is linked to damage to the brain, nervous system and fertility problems, it was a serious issue that needed addressing.
In 2010 Vitruvius was appointed by Gloucester City Council to manage the overall project, construction and cost of a Mercury Abatement Programme at Gloucester Crematorium.
The project involved accessing the existing equipment by taking the roof off the back of the crematorium and installing the new filtration plant through a sliding roof. Components and services were sourced from all over Europe.
The Council used the upgrade of the Crematorium as an opportunity to create an innovative tea room and wake facility, which both generate funds and help retain business as the Crematorium is now able to offer a complete funeral package. Alongside the wake facility, a stunning water feature and oak structure to cover flowers and wreaths was also built, together with a full overhaul of the public realm infrastructure.
“The key thing for any Local Authority is to get value for money and Vitruvius achieved that through budgetary savings and effective management of risk. Advice and updates were always pitched at the correct level, never patronising or complicated.” Gloucester City Council
If you’re looking to commit to 100% reduction in Mercury emissions by 2020, it might be worth considering the following:
Give Vitruvius a call, we can help you through the process.