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In the News

As the global leader in cremation technology, equipment, supplies, service and merchandising solutions, Matthews Environmental Solutions is often making news.

November 13, 2015

 Bio Cremation® Could Bring Dead People Back to American Cities

In a recent article by Ben Guarino for, it appears that biocremation is only gaining further steam in the media. Up until recent years it seemed that families had two primary choices for their loved ones: burial or cremation; however, the tide has shifted to include Bio Cremation®, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, as a viable option. Not only does it seem to answer the on-going quest for environmentally-friendly forms of disposal, but also seems to be the answer to a recent challenge: cemetery overcrowding, specifically in urban areas like New York.

Matthews Environmental Solutions President Steve Schaal, stated in the article: “biocremation is an acceleration of the body to bones journey through water, chemical, temperature and pressure; it mirrors the natural decomposition of the body much like with burial but instead of 15-20 years… It’s three to four hours.” 

Through the Bio Cremation® process, the body is processed completely, leaving nothing but sterile water and bone. The effluent, sterile water is then release to water treatment facilities, while the bone fragments are collected and buried or preserved in an urn.  Therefore Bio Cremation® is responsible for reducing the need for available burial ground and eliminates the release of air pollution since there is not a stack or chimney, as in traditional cremation.

There are, of course, regulatory and cultural hurdles to Bio Cremation®, however it is gaining favor and under consideration in dense urban areas, such as New York and New Jersey.  Biocremation is currently permitted by law in nine states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oregon.

While the conversation will inevitably continue on how to handle the world’s dwindling supply of available urban gravesites, Schaal continues to stress that Bio Cremation® solves many of the challenges at hand and hopes that this alternative method will continue to gain acceptance within the death-care industry.