In the United States, funeral home waste tends to pass through varying disposal procedures regulated by state and local authorities.
This will most often include procedures like embalming fluid neutralization, incineration, or burial in line with environmental and health regulations.
However, it is important to note that the price of each method will vary. It is recommended to reach out to your local authorities or the funeral home itself for accurate details.
Nevertheless, you need to understand that these homes are always expected to take the appropriate precautions when it comes to waste treatment and management, and this is meant to ensure that all of the waste they generate is disposed of properly.
Funeral homes may be subject to fines if they do not comply with those rules and regulations. Aside from that, improper disposal of waste from these facilities can lead to serious health risks.
How Funeral Homes in the United States Manage and Dispose Waste
Embalming Fluids and Chemicals
In this line of business, one of the most common and risky wastes produced is embalming fluids. These fluids are used to preserve bodies and they tend to contain things like formaldehyde, a chemical of concern.
In the United States, funeral homes are mandated to comply with certain regulations that have to do with the proper handling and disposal of embalming fluids.
Also, note that a good number of funeral homes leverage processes to neutralize formaldehyde before disposal to avoid or limit its environmental impact.
Biomedical Waste Disposal
One other waste funeral homes produce in large quantities is biomedical waste. This waste is most often generated during embalming as well as other funeral processes, and they all fall under very stringent regulations.
Funeral homes are expected to conform with state and federal guidelines for the appropriate disposal of biomedical waste.
Incineration has always been the ideal method for disposing of such waste, especially since it works to ensure safe and environmentally conscious elimination.
In recent times, cremation has grown to become a popular choice for final disposition in the United States. Note that during cremation, the deceased’s body is reduced to ashes, and any residue metal implants, including things like dental fillings or prosthetics, will need to be separated and disposed of using other disposal means. Howbeit, the ashes, or cremated remains, are handed over to the family or interred depending on their wishes.
Burial and Graveyard Waste
Keep in mind that wastes generated during burial ceremonies, such as floral arrangements and non-biodegradable materials, have become too prevalent as the years go by.
You will find that a good number of cemeteries in the United States possess specific guidelines on what can be placed at gravesites. Also note that materials or items that are non-biodegradable might be removed, recycled, or disposed of the right way.
Another valid point you have to note is the fact that the disposal of funeral home waste is adequately covered by federal, state, and local regulations.
While it can be daunting and complicated at times, businesses in the industry are expected to conform to them. Note that agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide guidelines, and individual states might as well possess additional requirements.
Funeral homes in the United States are expected to obtain all requisite permits and comply with all stipulated procedures to guarantee compliance with environmental standards.
In recent times, there have been loud outcries regarding the impact and effects of the waste produced by funeral homes and how they dispose of them.
However, with the fast-rising trend and focus on sustainability, you will find that a good number of funeral homes are beginning to leverage eco-friendly practices to properly manage and dispose of their waste.
In the United States today, you will find things such as green burials, where bodies are interred without embalming or in biodegradable coffins, and these work to limit the environmental impact of traditional funeral practices.
Community Awareness and Education
Public awareness is without doubt one of the most important strategies to ensure the responsible management of funeral home waste.
Funeral homes indeed have a very important role to play when it comes to educating families about environmentally conscious choices as well as the proper handling of waste materials.
This will more or less include encouraging options such as biodegradable urns and eco-friendly burial practices. By doing this, funeral homes can not only fulfill their social responsibilities but also set an example for the broader community.