SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (CBS) — A 23-year-old south suburban funeral director has just started what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind in Illinois – flameless cremations.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Ryan Cattoni opened AquaGreen Dispositions LLC last week in South Holland. He says flameless cremation is a gentler, greener choice that is starting to take hold in the funeral industry.

“What I use is 95 percent water, 5 percent chemicals, and it gently breaks down the body,” Cattoni said.

What are left is the bone remains, just like crematories that use fire. The remains are then pulverized to produce the ash given to families in urns.

“One of my associates has one of these machines, and he says that people choose it over flame cremation 80 percent of the time,” he said.

Cattoni says he charges about $2,200, right in the middle of high- and low-cost traditional cremations.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

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