Charles 3 Comments



“In the UK, the size and number of cremators at a crematorium are selected to enable the ‘duty’ to be accomplished within a normal working day and so the cremator is used for about 8 hours per day and then shut down until the next day. This is not an energy-efficient way of working, and cultural practices have been allowed to dominate at the expense of efficiency.”

Mortonhall Investigation Report 30 April 2014

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Ken West
8 years ago

Charles, That sounds logical but efficiency is far worse than suggested. Many crematoria have two, three or even four cremators. The crematoria have quiet days, particularly midweek as Friday fills up before the weekend and Monday takes those not able to get in by Friday. Cremator no.1 may do six cremations, but cremator no. 2 will handle the overspill, perhaps one cremation, or two. It will operate for three hours at best. Large numbers of cremators do one cremation each day, and use more gas to pre-heat the cremator than they do for the actual cremation. The only way to… Read more »

Charles Cowling
8 years ago

Thank you, Ken. This confirms my uneducated hunch that cremation in Britain is accomplished extremely inefficiently. The present spate of crematorium building (all private, of course) is only serving to make things worse. All this talk of funeral poverty and all these comings-together of the great and the good to sort it out, and none of them can see the obvious: the cost of cremation is inflated by this inefficiency.

It’s really good of you to take the time to lend authority to what are otherwise no more than amateur ramblings. I’m extremely grateful.

8 years ago

I’m grateful for that too, Ken, as funeral poverty is a bugbear of mine. In my opinion, the cost of disposing of a body hygienically, as the law demands, should not have to be borne by the family of the dead person’s body in the first place. The disposal problem belongs ultimately to the public health authority who (rightly enough) make this demand in the interests of public health; dumping the cost on involved relatives at their time of lowest resistance, whose real concern is not the hygienic benefits of the disposal itself but the accompaniment of the disposal with… Read more »