LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A local authority in England has given the go ahead for a swimming pool to use energy created by the next-door crematorium to heat its water.
The plan, the first of its kind in Britain, will see waste heat from the incinerator chimney used to warm up the neighboring leisure center and its new pool.
"The cremation process is a sensitive matter and we wanted to be sure our proposals had widespread support," said Councilor Carole Gandy, the leader of Redditch Borough Council in central England.
Eighty to 90 percent of people who contacted the council had backed the scheme, she said.
"Throughout we have been careful to explain how the technology would work, that it is tried and trusted, and that the practice is quite common in parts of Europe and especially in Sweden," she said.
"We already support our residents to insulate their homes and be energy-efficient, so it seemed only right for us to explore this re-use of energy."
However, local trade union officials are less than impressed with the plan, saying it was a reflection of the massive public spending cuts being implemented by the government.
"These proposals ... are sick and an insult to local residents," said Roger McKenzie, regional secretary for Unison, Britain's biggest public sector labor union.
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison