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Stephenville crematorium retrofit resulting in even less emissions: co-owner

Co-owners of Russell’s Funeral Home in Stephenville: Keith Russell, left, and Dave Mooney, stand next to the retrofitted M-pyre 2.0 crematorium that is completed computerized and monitored from Orlando, Florida, USA.
Co-owners of Russell’s Funeral Home in Stephenville: Keith Russell, left, and Dave Mooney, stand next to the retrofitted M-pyre 2.0 crematorium that is completed computerized and monitored from Orlando, Florida, USA. - Frank Gale

To keep up with the demand in Western Newfoundland, Russell’s Funeral Home in Stephenville has upgraded its crematorium with the newest technology available in North America.

The installation of the M-pyre 2.0, a fully computerized system, was completed on Wednesday.

Dave Mooney, a co-owner of Russell’s Funeral Home, said this technology actually allows every cremation to be monitored and if any problems arise, can even be controlled remotely from Matthews Cremation head office in Orlando, Fla.

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He said the crematorium unit actually has its own dedicated internet line to Orlando.

This year marks 20 years for Russell’s operating a crematorium and the owners (Mooney and Keith Russell) felt it was time for an upgrade.

Part of the reason for the upgrade is to be able to accommodate the number of cremations the business is doing for other funeral homes from Port aux Basques to St. Anthony.

With the old unit they were only able to do two cremations a day but now they can do eight to 10 a day.

Mooney explained that older the crematorium system was all manual with twist dials and buttons. The retrofitted system is all computerized and has an enhanced pollution control.

“Even though the emissions before the upgrade weren’t harmful, there were some emissions. This enhancement to our crematorium reduces these emissions even more,” he said.

The retrofit involved stripping the old unit, including the concrete floor and all the brick and installing everything new with the exception of the outer metal. The unit also had all new wiring installed and to ensure even better emissions, they had the flue extended another eight feet above the recommended height, which was already three feet above the roof peak.

Mooney said there are concerns being expressed in Corner Brook and Deer Lake about having crematoriums located in those communities and it looks like it could take some time before they move ahead.

“So to better serve our families in Bay St. George and keep the extended service in Western Newfoundland we decided to get the retrofit done,” he said.

Mooney said because of the upgrade to the M-pyre 2.0 there is now less waiting time for the families of loved ones.

“The numbers alone are showing the support that people have for our crematorium,” he said.

Mooney said it was a costly venture at about $95,000 but it will serve them well for many years to come.

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