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Shanghai cemetary offers China's first 'stacked graves'

(People's Daily Online)    17:34, December 19, 2016

Grave-stacking equipment in Shanghai's Songyin cemetery. (Photo/kankannews.com)

A special piece of equipment has been put into use in Shanghai's Songyin cemetery, enabling the remains of the deceased to be stacked compactly, China News Service reported on Dec. 19.

The first group of 10 bodies was buried using the equipment. Family members put the urns one by one into small openings, after which the equipment slowly descended into the ground. Five walls, each containing 40 burial cavities, can be directed into the ground at the same time. The cemetery has 48 sets of the equipment, for a total capacity of 9,600 cavities.

According to Liu Jianrong, manager of the cemetery, an ordinary small grave covers an area of more than 0.3 square meters, while a single "stacked grave" only takes up about 0.028 square meters.

Grave-stacking equipment in Shanghai's Songyin cemetery. (Photo/kankannews.com)

The equipment is made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel. It can be removed from the ground for reuse after descending with the urns. A number of national patents have been granted for the burial equipment. What’s more, the burial method follows the traditional Chinese custom of being laid to rest in the soil, while at the same time improving land use efficiency.

China is now promoting land-saving ecological funerals. New burial styles like tree burials and flower-bed burials have gradually been accepted by more and more people in Shanghai due to a shortage of land.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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