ROWLEY Regis Crematorium will be the first in the UK to use a brand new environmentally friendly method of disposing of corpses.

Sandwell Council planning committee approved plans for an extension at the crematorium to house the £300,000 Resomator machine which dissolves bodies using chemicals.

British company Resomation, which invented and will install the machine, is currently in talks with Severn Trent Water about discharging waste into the main sewage system.

A Sandwell Council spokesman said: "We currently offer bereaved families the option of burial or cremation and this application is to enable the authority to offer bereaved families Resomation, a high quality professional end of life option as an alternative.

"Resomation allows individuals and families to express their environmental concerns and values in a very positive manner with one of their final actions in life."

The process is a water based alkaline hydrolysis system, operated at temperature where body tissues are rapidly broken down through hydrolysis in an alkaline solution.

Grieving families will still be able to have the ashes of their loved ones as the final stage of the process of the body's disintigration is pure white bone ash.

The spokesman added: "There are no emissions from the facility and the machinery omits no significant noise.

"The wastes from the unit are pumped to the main drainage on the site, Sandwell Council and Resomation are currently in talks with Severn Trent Water regarding this."

The crematorium plan to have the Resomator machine fully operational by September, there are three operational in America but the UK's first.

Sandy Sullivan, the founder of Resomation, said: “Over 135 years ago flame cremation offered fundamental change in the way we approached human disposition and some serious convincing was required before it was fully accepted.

"Resomation now offers a new, innovative yet dignified approach which uses significantly less energy and emits significantly less greenhouse gasses than flame cremation and is another needed option that the public clearly wants and the environment clearly needs.

"This is once again a new era of required change”

The company is named after the Greek/Latin term Resoma which means "rebirth of the human body.”