Future of green cremation in Smiths Falls uncertain

Photo: www.facebook.com/hiltonsaquagreendispositions/
Posted on: January 29, 2018

April Scott-Clarke
april@pdgmedi.ca 

Hilton’s Aqua Green Dispositions, a local crematorium that uses an alternative, no-flame, method for cremation called alkaline hydrolysis, is going into its fourth year of business but this year may be its last.

On Jan. 25 the facility was inspected and was promptly issued a notice to revoke the facility’s licence for operating without a funeral director. “A funeral director has to be present because the body has to be handled,” explained Carey Smiths, CEO of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO). He explained that in most cases during traditional cremation a funeral director isn’t needed because the body is encased. Smiths went on to explain that the presence of a funeral director ensures not only that the body is being handled with respect and dignity but also that safety measures are being followed.

Having a funeral director present to process the bodies is part of the licensing conditions.

Owner Dale Hilton doesn’t deny these allegations but preferred not to comment at this time about his next steps.

According to the BAO, Hilton has 15 days to appeal the decision. If he appeals, a hearing will be set shortly after with the Licence Appeal Tribunal of Ontario.

This is not Hilton’s first battle with the BAO either. In 2014 he was fined for operating without a licence.

Smiths confirmed that the agency had “received information” which is what sparked the inspection. “We are a consumer protection agency and here to protect the public interest. We get very few consumer complaints and there are even fewer actions that we take like this,” Smiths said.

There are currently only four other facilities in Ontario that do cremations via alkaline hydrolysis.

Hilton also operates Hilton’s Unforgettable Tails, a pet cremation business. This issue is not associated with his the pet business.