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Mount Pleasant Crematorium

Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries


"It was the right thing to do for the environment and the communities we serve."

- Glen Timney, Vice President Corporate Development


Mount Pleasant Cemetery Crematorium is one of 5 crematoriums operating
in Toronto. The ChemTRAC Program found a total release of 12 kilograms
of Mercury from crematoriums in 2011, with Mount Pleasant releasing 2
kilograms into the air. But in 2014, they will report zero Mercury
releases.

How did they manage that?

In September 2014, TEA got a tour of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Crematorium. Glen Timney shared the corporation's two-pronged strategy
to eliminate harmful chemical releases.

They have invested in new equipment by Facultatieve Technologies that
uses pollution controls to remove all heavy metals and other chemicals.
The air emission tests they ran, a requirement for Ministry of
Environment approvals, couldn't even find Mercury in the samples. This
fact, combined with the barrel of 'spent reagent' onsite, indicates that
their pollution control measures are effective!

In simple terms, 'reagent' mixes with the substances found in the
cremation vents (such as mercury) and weighs it down so it falls into a
barrel for proper disposal instead of getting released into the outdoor
air.

But it's not enough to just control heavy metals at the 'end of pipe'.
So Mount Pleasant has looked upstream at where the caskets are coming
from.  They have required funeral homes to limit the amount of
metals used in their caskets. Glen admitted that this was not a popular
demand and they ran the risk of losing some clients at first. The
metal found on the outside of the casket (e.g. handles) is removed
before cremation and then recycled by a company called OrthoMetals.

The corporation now expects to be so far below the ChemTRAC limits set
by Toronto Public Health that they will not need to report at all. They
may decide to voluntarily report to ChemTRAC, since it is a tool for the
community to access information on the company's successful transition
away from Mercury releases.

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