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Published on February 17th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz


Cattle Carcasses Heat British Town

February 17th, 2009 by  

A Swedish town announced last month that it will use cremated bodies to provide heat, and now the British town of Reepham has decided to heat many of its buildings by burning oil made from melted cow and pig carcasses. Are dead bodies— human or otherwise— the next big thing in heating?

Probably not, since carcasses and crematoriums are in limited supply. But Reepham’s scheme, at least, has a relatively low carbon footprint.

The town is using cooking oil and tallow (melted fatty remains) mixed with fossil fuels to make a biofuel blend. Eighty percent of tallow’s carbon footprint comes from making the animals and their fat, so why not use the carcasses if people will eat the meat beforehand anyway?

Children in Reepham schools will have the chance to observe cuts in carbon emissions with energy monitors placed in each classroom, but it’s doubtful that the kids will find out exactly where their heat is coming from.

Photo Credit: CC-Licensed by Flickr user law kevin 
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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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