POLL: Burials are right out of the box

ASHES TO ASHES: Orange Funeral Director Norm Penhall with members of the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) Tony Smith and Brian Phillips, at the new environmental section of Orange Cemetery, where two people have already been interred. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0922cemeteryTHE environmental section of the Orange Cemetery has been used for the first time in a trend environmentalists hope will continue.

Orange City Council established an area at the north-eastern end of the cemetery, with room to expand to the southern perimeter of the cemetery.

Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) members approached council suggesting the creation of an environmentally responsible area for burials and ash interments.

Council staff worked with ECCO, surveying other areas of Australia where environmental interments were already in place and came up with the concept for Orange.

The first two burials have been carried out by Orange’s funeral directors.

“We’ve got space for 12 burials with the area landscaped in bush style with a natural garden,” said ECCO member Tony Smith.

“We have formal guidelines for the interments which have to be followed in the new area,” said fellow ECCO member Brian Phillips.

Bodies must be interred using rope handles with no metal to be used, and in the case of ashes being interred, no contains are allowed to be placed in the ground.

“A hole has to be dug and the ashes placed in the hole,” said councillor Neil Jones.

Orange funeral director Deidre Penhall said provision is now available for people to be buried in a shroud, however objects which are not bio-degradable cannot be placed in the with the body.

“We cannot use embalming and no crosses or plaques can be placed on the top of the grave,” Mrs Penhall said.

“However a small metal plaque is allowed on top of the coffin,” she said.

Orange City Council spokesman Alan Reeder said under the guidelines for Melaleuca Gardens, plaques with the names of people interred will be attached to a nearby central sandstone plinth instead of the grave site.

“This is to keep the area in a natural state,” he said.

Environmental interment at Orange Cemetery

* No metal handles on coffins – rope handles permitted.

*No items which are not biodegradable can be placed in the grave.

*No plaques or white cross are permitted to mark a grave and no vases or pots to hold flowers.

*Flowers can be placed on graves.

*People can be buried in a shroud in preference to a coffin.

*No embalming can be used on the body.

*Graves will not be individually marked but names will be placed on a separate sandstone rock in the sections

*Council has set aside an expansive area stretching from the eastern corner to the southern perimeter of the cemetery.

*Funerals are actually more expensive than a traditional interment in another section of the cemetery.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.