A delicate process without fire. The only ecological & economical solution for pets’ end-of-life cycle.
EcoHuellas is the first truly ecological pet cremation service in Costa Rica. Unlike a regular crematorium, which uses a lot of energy (natural gas) to cremate pets, and creates lots of contamination, at EcoHulleas we use a state-of-the-art alkaline hydrolysis machine, manufactured in the U.S.A.
This technology uses only 15% of the energy required for a flame cremation and does not emit any smoke. An alkaline solution (sodium and potassium) is added to hot water, creating an accelerated decomposition of all organic materials. At the end of the process, only the bones left, which we dry and grind, before placing them in an urn. Finally, we present the urn to the pet’s owner, in the same way a traditional crematorium would.
Ecohuellas is located in Curridabat, serving all the Central Valley GAM. Should our services be needed further afield, we will be happy to offer them, provided the transportation of the pet can be arranged and paid for by the owner.
How it works
Simply contact us and we will come as soon as possible, to pick up your pet from your home or vet clinic. Each pet receives a serial number and is placed in a personal cell inside our machine to ensure that you receive only the correct ash. Once the process is finished, we will put the ash inside the urn of your choosing, before presenting it to you, either a simple, ecological wooden urn with a photo of your pet attached, or a beautiful ceramic urn made in Costa Rica.
1. How does the alkaline hydrolysis process work?
2. What is the difference between flame cremation and water cremation?
3. What will happen to my pet after you pick it up?
4. Why is the process considered ecological?
5. How can I be sure the ash I get is of my pet?
6. How long will the process take, and when will I get the ashes?
7. Can I be in your facility while you cremate my pet?
8. Which animals can be cremated in your facility?
9. Can I bring my pet to you and pick up the ashes myself?
10. Is this technology used only for pets?
11. Can I use my pet’s ash as a fertilizer or to grow plants?
1. Each pet is placed in its own space inside the alkaline hydrolysis machine, and a mix of potassium and sodium is added with water. The system heats the water, and the alkaline solution decomposes all organic materials. After a 20-hour cycle, the water is drained and the bone remains are moved first to an oven to dry them, and then to a machine which grinds them into a powder. The ash powder for each pet is placed in an urn and presented to the owner.
2. Flame cremation uses gas to cremate pets at a very high temperature, which requires a lot of energy. The crematorium emits greenhouse gases through a chimney. Water cremation does not use fire at all, breaking down all biological material with much lower heat (less than 100 Celsius) and alkaline.
3. When we collect your pet, we will give it a serial number and place it in a personal cell inside the alkaline hydrolysis machine. At the end of the process, we grind the remains of the bones separately for each pet and return the ash returned to you in an urn.
4. Alkaline hydrolysis is the only truly ecological solution for burial for two reasons. Firstly, its low consumption of energy, which is around only 15 % of the energy a crematorium uses to burn. Secondly, this no flame cremation process does not emit any gases or other dangerous particles.
5. Each time we receive a pet, we give it a unique number on a small metal disk. Each pet is placed in a personal cell, according to its size, with the metal disk. At the end of the process the bones are moved to an oven, still with the same metal disk. The last phase of grinding the bone remains is done individually for each pet, to keep them separate. From the grinder the ash is placed in the urn, with a label showing the dog’s number and details. We also provide an official certificate of cremation.
6. The alkaline hydrolysis process takes abut 20 hours, and in most cases the ash is returned to the owner within three working days.
7. No, the process takes 20 hours, usually overnight, and the facility is not built to host people during this time.
8. Any animal that weighs less than 100 kilos can be processed by the alkaline hydrolysis unit. We mainly work with dogs and cats, but we are certainly open to working with any other pet.
9. Yes, we may be able to offer a discount if you bring your pet to our facility, and/or collect the urn in person.
10. Our machine and business are licensed and fits for pets only. More generally, the alkaline hydrolysis technology is also used to bio-cremate humans in many countries, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Mexico, but not currently in Costa Rica.
11. Cremation ash contains a high level of calcium and is very alkaline, so it is too strong to add to a pot with a small plant, which might not survive. It is beneficial to plants only in small quantities or scattered over large area with big plants and trees. It is a good idea to mix a small quantity of the ash with water for irrigating plants.