Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A council criticised for lateral thinking that would reduce CO2 emissions.

Redditch Council is being criticised because it wants to reduce energy consumption, and, its CO2 'greenhouse gas' emissions. I'm unsure of 'The Green Party's' stance on the proposal.

Some argue that it would be insensitive to 'recycle' some of the enormous quantity of heat used to cremate a body, to help heat the water in an adjacent swimming pool. However, I suspect that a large number of potential customers would welcome the opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment.

It actually makes environmental and economic sense. Let's face it, all that heat going up a chimney would otherwise only keep the birds of Redditch warm.

There are other commercial considerations; and some might get worried if they started competing with Dignitas, offering discounts for voluntary euthanasia.

In other environmental initiatives, their Parks Department was re-examining its fertiliser contract.

A guest post by Joe Public.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

Another can of worms you have managed to open SR!

All I can say is, is nothing sacred?

Do they not get any brownie points for lowering and thus meeting landfill requirements?

That last remark (in poor taste possibly) was intended to show the stupidity of EU directives affecting a very sombre, personal event, something which surely should not be? Or is this just another 'slap in the face' for religious beliefs and ceremonies?

The sooner we escape the EU the better! What happens if fossil fuels are banned eventually under the enviro proposals? What happens to crematoria?

Sorry SR, I do not agree it is a sensible proposal - I suppose for the first time in my life I am 'united' with the view of a trade union - I think it is 'sick'!

Brian said...

I'm sorry but I cannot see what is wrong with using the waste heat from the crematorium to warm the adjacent swimming pool.
I would draw the line at being co-opted for Soylent Green production and winter road gritting unless I have given written notice.
At least Redditch Council didn't propose to share the facility with a pizza maker.

Hamish said...

Sorry Witterings, you're out of tune with the Scottish attitude to death.
Down-to-earth and practical -- and a great source of humour.
There was the Glasgow undertaker who referred to cremations involving families with Protestants on one side and Catholics on the other as a mixed grill.
There had better be dancing at my wake or I'll haunt my descendants.

Key bored warrior. said...

Go the whole hog and use the ash for road repairs or grit.

Woodsy42 said...

If hospitals are not allowed to use the organs from people who die in order to save other lives it seems very odd that the council should be able to use them to heat a swimming pool. It doesn't feel right to me whatever the economics.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Hamish: Obviously death is another area in which the Scots and English differ.......

My view was a personal view, as was no doubt yours so let us agree to disagree.

I feel that what is part of a religious service should not be subject to a decision which is based on an unproven so-called 'science'. (without opening up another subject....)

Perhaps this should be settled by local referendum? (which of course the Colalition decide that local authorites could ignore if they so felt - yet another subject opened up......)

The response to a what appears a simple decision, as always, is complex when the decision has not been thought through properly!

But hey, as with all political decisions, it creates more problems than it solves!

cynicalHighlander said...

I suppose it depends on which side of the religious debate in how one views this. Once your dead your dead and I'm quite happy to feed the worms who have kept me fed all my life but accept that cremation will be my reduction using a lot of energy in an energy constrained world denying it to others would be selfish.

Brian said...

WfW: Humanist funerals aren't religious.

Joe Public said...

@ WfW 19:42

Extracting what would otherwise be heat wasted up a chimney, would have no effect whatsoever on a sombre and personal event. Attendees would be oblivious to the fact.

The equipment involved, simply a heat exchanger, would be fitted in the chimney, and 'invisible'. As is the existing equipment already fitted to chimney to scrub the (hot) flue gases for environmental emissions control.

Ironically, heat recovery from cremations already occurs indirectly because heat released into the atmosphere is utilised by air-to-air or air-to-water heat pumps serving air-conditioning in hundreds of thousands of offices & factories across the UK.

Joe Public said...

@ Brian

I'm in total agreement.

Joe Public said...

@ Hamish

I agree. If you can't find humour in it, I suspect you might worry yourself to death about it.

Joe Public said...

@ Kbw

As in dual-benefit, afterwards?

Joe Public said...

@ Woodsy42

Slightly different issue here.

The council uses hundreds of thousands of kWh each year burning bodies. OK they charge for the process. Heat is a major by-product, so they might as well make use of it, if they can.

Joe Public said...

@ WfW 20:51

Neither tribe has a monopoly on one or other view.

"I feel that what is part of a religious service should not be subject to a decision which is based on an unproven so-called 'science'." Heat recovery and heat recycling are totally, absolutely, 100% proven. The science is thermodynamics. Your boiler (if you have one) burns gas or oil in a heat exchanger over which water passes. The water's heated up & pumped through your radiators. Identical principle.

Referendum? "Do you want your council to save £14k per year and help reduce the taxes you pay? Yes or No."

I'd defy a non-technical (& even many technical) person to notice / realise / be aware-of heat recovery equipment fitted INSIDE a cremator chimney. The only give-away will be the flow & return pipework to the swimming pool. And that'll be boxed-in and/or underground.

"...it creates more problems than it solves!"

The only issue is whether it'd be cost-effective. And the council's Technical Officer or Consultant would do the sums.

Joe Public said...

@ cH

A very pragmatic response.

Joe Public said...

@ Brian 21:44

"Humanist funerals aren't religious."

But they can be practical.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

JP: Methinks you misunderstand me and democracy. It is up to the public in any local authority to decide what they want and as a member of that I would accept the majority view. Would you? If so, then we have no arguement.

I would also make the point it is not up to a council official, ie civil servant, to make the decision, it is not up to councillors to do so, but the people!

cynicalHighlander said...

WfW Surely the council decision is to dispose of a corpse to comply with the deceased wishes and the waste heat can be used as the council see fit, or do they charge for that disposal.

Joe Public said...

@ WfW 22:16

I agree we live in a democracy; and, I also realise that many actions that I don't necessarily agree-with occur, because that's the desire of a majority.

A Manchester crematorium was considering a heat-recovery proposal (for space-heating their chapel). Local vicar Vernon Marshall commented: "As a final act of generosity, it's a lovely way for the dead to provide comfort for the living at a difficult time."

Joe Public said...

@ cH 22:54

Agreed. Facilities have to be provided for disposal of bodies. Cemetaries are virtually full.

A dead person can hardly object, he/she has just required the use of lots of energy to elevate the furnace temperature to +800 Deg C for a couple of hours.

subrosa said...

Nothing untoward about this in the least. Energy is energy and I'd be delighted if I contributed to someone having a comfortable swim rather than shivering their way through their exercise routine.

It's miserable swimming in too cold water for any length of time.

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