Cremators are being refurbished at Wilford Hill (Southern) Cemetery and Crematorium to reduce air pollutant emissions.
Guidance published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in 2005 set out a requirement for all of the UK's crematoria to reduce emissions of mercury to the atmosphere by 50 per cent in order to protect the environment.
In order to comply with the new guidance the Council has procured Facultatieve Technologies, a world leader in the field of design, construction and maintenance of cremators.
Mercury is a very poisonous heavy metal and crematoria emit 13 per cent of all mercury emissions nationally. Due to the historical use of mercury in dental fillings, the level of mercury pollution arising from crematoria operations is steadily increasing. Mercury emitted in this way can travel many hundreds of miles in the atmosphere ultimately entering the food chain, particularly so in marine environments.
Councillor David Trimble, Nottingham City Council's Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: "We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of the Council's activities and addressing the wider challenge of climate change. It is essential that we follow these new regulations by making changes to our operations at Wilford Hill.
"Staff at the crematorium are working closely with funeral directors and bereaved families to minimise any disruption to the service. In addition, the Annual Service for the Bereaved is unaffected and will go ahead as planned."
The site is being prepared now ready for work to begin in early October. The refurbishment should be completed by mid-January 2012.
The project will cost just approximately £543,000 which is being funded through the Mercury Abatement reserve into which levies from cremation fees are paid.
Future improvements at the crematorium will include the redecoration of all areas and the refurbishment of the toilets and refreshment area.