Human ashes need to be disposed of properly because they’re not safe for disposal in landfills.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to responsibly dispose of them. When disposing of human ashes, you should abide by your local laws.
So, how do you dispose of human ashes properly? Many people don’t have their own cemetery plot and end up having their ashes scattered in a place that means a lot to them.
However, scattering ashes carelessly can have devastating consequences. If ashes are scattered on private property, the owner may be forced to dispose of them or sue the person who scattered them.
Scattering ashes on public land can also cause problems. For example, spreading ashes on beaches can be dangerous for animals, and spreading them near water can make streams and lakes dirty.
Furthermore, scattering ashes near roads or highways can block traffic or get into cars. For these reasons, it’s important to dispose of ashes properly, which can be tricky.
The best option is to contact a local funeral home. They should be able to collect and dispose of ashes quickly and safely.
How to Properly Dispose of Human Ashes
An urn or other manner of transporting the departed remains, gloves, tarps or garbage bags for collecting the remains, a shovel or spade, and a sealable plastic bag for transporting the remains to the crematorium or other location, safety goggles, and a face mask.
The simplest option is to scatter the deceased’s remains in a favorite spot where they enjoyed spending time.
If you own the property in question, you should not have any trouble putting a loved one’s cremated remains there.
To avoid damage to pipelines or other subsurface structures when digging a hole for the burial site, you should check with the local utility company before you begin to dig the gravesite and determine where underground lines are so you don’t damage any lines while digging the hole for the burial site.
There is no need for official approval if you simply plan to bury the cremated remains of a loved one on your own property.
Because they bring closure, sea burials help family and friends say goodbye and begin the healing process.
At Neptune Memorial Reefs in Hawaii, people watch as the urn with the ashes of a loved one is put into the water.
Public Land Disposal
Even though human ashes are not dangerous and can’t hurt anything if they are left on the ground, most local governments have rules about how to get rid of them.
Most communities will let people put the cremated remains of their dead relatives in unmarked graves on their own property, but you should always check with your local government to see what the rules are.
Human ashes must only be disposed of by crematory companies licensed to do so.
Use your best judgment and do not disturb any animals that may have taken up residence in the grave site.
Leaving human ashes in a widely traveled place such as a park, beach, or roadside memorial can cause distress to people who drive past it.
Things to Know Before Disposing Of Human Ashes
There are few rules regulating the disposal of the cremated remains of loved ones in the United States, but it is a good idea to know some guidelines before burying your loved one’s cremains in a cemetery.
The airplane method is less expensive, but you should only use it if you have less than 10 pounds of cremation ashes to spread.
As long as you don’t disturb the soil or cause property damage, it’s not against the law to scatter the ashes of a family member on private property you own.
You may, however, need a permit from your local municipality to do so.
You cannot drop an urn filled with cremated remains out of an airplane because the weight of the urn would cause it to fall too quickly and break apart upon impact with the ground.
This is likely illegal in many places and could cause problems for the local airport authorities and law enforcement agencies if it becomes known that you are dumping ashes in this manner.
Personal safety is another factor to consider when planning your own funeral ceremony.
If you don’t already have written instructions, let the crematorium know that you want them to handle the disposal of your loved one’s ashes.
If you let the crematorium know, they can promise to follow your wishes and not sell or do anything else with your loved one’s ashes without your permission.
Is It Okay to Flush Human Ashes Down the Toilet?
Human ash should not go into the toilet or drain because it is toxic to plumb and can clog the pipes in your home.
Human ashes are substantially thicker than other waste and could damage the sewage system if not properly disposed of by a licensed professional.
Ashes from dead people are thick and could easily stop normal water from flowing through your drains.
However, spreading or burying them on your property, however, poses no risk of damage to sewer pipes and is perfectly acceptable.
Is it Bad to Keep Ashes at Home or on Private Property?
Some people believe that storing ashes on a mantle or other flat surface in the home is bad luck and brings bad luck to the family.
If you’re worried about the urn being stolen, you can keep it in a locked cabinet or closet out of sight of visitors.
The disposal of human ashes on public or private property is a grey area at best because of varying state laws and ordinances governing this issue.
There is no evidence that ashes themselves are harmful to humans, so there should be no legal reason why you cannot keep them at home.
Human ash disposal does present some challenges, especially if you’re considering a private ceremony such as a backyard burial or other unattended event.
For the deceased’s loved ones, the ceremonial act of saying goodbye to the departed is an important part of the healing process and should not be discouraged.
Respecting the dead is important for everyone at a funeral, but it’s especially important when a loved one has died.
Always treat the ashes with respect, and make sure the ceremony is one that everyone can take part in with pride.
The most important things to remember are to get permission before dispersing the cremains and keep them away from children at all times.