2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Arizona Edition

This fourteenth edition of state guides for scattering ashes is focused on the state of Arizona. This beautiful state is home to brilliant desert, stunning canyons, unmatched sunsets, and some of the world’s leading golf courses!

In Arizona, more and more of its residents are electing to be cremated and have their ashes scattered at a meaningful place. Along with this growing trend, funeral homes all over Arizona are commonly asked a number of questions about scattering ashes. This includes whether they can scatter ashes or not, where they can scatter ashes in Arizona, and what type of urn or container should be used to scatter ashes? In this state guide, we highlight helpful information that provides answers to these questions and many more.

Rules in Arizona for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes Arizona

Arizona has no state laws restricting storing or scattering ashes. The cremation process makes ashes harmless and does not pose a health threat. Human ashes in Arizona can be kept in a niche, crypt, grave, or urn and there are also many unique memorials and other things people do with ashes (see below).

Even without state-wide laws restricting storing and scattering ashes, it is a good idea to check if any local city or county laws exist where you plan on scattering. This information can typically be found with a quick internet search or by calling or visiting a local government office in your area.

Where in Arizona Can You Scatter Ashes?

Many families choose to scatter ashes of a loved one at a special place with meaning to them, or at another beautiful location outdoors. There are many places where families commonly scatter ashes in Arizona and below we highlight a few of the popular ones.

  • Private Property – In Arizona, as with most other states, there are no state laws in place that prevent you from scattering ashes in your yard or on other property you own. If the plan is to scatter ashes on private property that’s owned by someone else, make sure you receive their permission first.
  • Scattering Gardens -  An increasing number of memorial parks, cemeteries, and churches in Arizona now have scattering gardens, which are designated areas on their property where people can scatter the ashes of a loved one. With a quick online search you can typically find a few scattering garden options near you.
  • Public Land – There are many locations in Arizona families choose to scatter the ashes of a loved one. While there aren’t any state laws restricting scattering ashes on public land, it’s always recommended that you check to see if any regulations exist at the local level (county or city) where you plan on scattering.
  • National Parks – Arizona is home to many beautiful National Parks, including the famous Grand Canyon – an amazing wonder with its intricate layering canyons and brilliant colors! Every National Park has its own rules and regulations related to scattering ashes, so be sure to check before you visit one to scatter to see if it’s allowed and any permits that you need.
  • Water Burial – Scattering in water is an option that’s growing in popularity nationwide. Federal law requires that a water burial is performed at least 3 nautical miles from shore and that the EPA is provided notification of a scattering within 30 days of it being done.
  • From an Airplane - In Arizona and most other states, no state laws are in place that restrict scattering ashes from an airplane. However, federal law requires that no potential harm is caused to people or property from things dropped from the sky - ashes are harmless and are okay to be dropped, but make sure that the urn used to scatter is held on to.

How to Scatter Ashes in Arizona?

scattering urn

With the significant increase in the amount of people electing to be cremated in Arizona and elsewhere nationwide, along with an increased interest in scattering ashes, various urns have recently been made available that are designed to scatter. These new types of urns typically have a unique long cylinder shape (similar to a tube), which helps people scatter away from their body and avoid having the ashes blow back on them.

Below we describe some of the more popular scattering urns used by families in Arizona and other states throughout the country.

Scattering Urns

There are thousands of urns available at funeral homes and also online. Some of the more popular urns designed to scatter ashes include the Eco Scattering Urn, scattering urns made from paper, and the Eco Water Urn. Each of these are TSA approved and are sold at price points that are affordable for most families.

Eco Scattering Urn

The patented Eco Scattering Urn is constructed only from bamboo, arguably one of the strongest building materials available! This unique scattering urn has a long cylinder or ‘tube-like’ shape (which can help people avoid having the ashes blow back on them while scattering). It has a proprietary open and close locking mechanism, giving families the ability to secure their loved one’s ashes in the urn while traveling to that special location to scatter, and also gives families the ability to scatter with control and ease.

Scattering Urns Made from Paper

Scattering urns manufactured from paper typically have a scene or other design printed on the outside of the urn and can be found online or at most funeral homes. These paper scattering urns are a lower-cost option to other urns on the market and work for one-time use. With these urns, there is also an extra step of gluing after loading the ashes, and if it’s something you’re not comfortable doing, enlist a friend or local funeral director to help.

Eco Water Urn

The Eco Water Urn has quickly become a leading urn used in water burials nationwide. This patent pending eco-friendly urn is made from recycled plants with only heat and pressure (no glues or chemicals), and is designed to float for up to a few minutes before dissolving and releasing the ashes in water. It comes packaged in a bamboo cylinder case, which makes for a great way to securely travel with the urn to a location on the water to scatter.

Multiple Memorials

With an increasing amount of people in Arizona and nationwide electing to be cremated, many new and uplifting memorial options have recently come available. With so many beautiful options, many people are finding it to be a challenge to select a single memorial to honor their loved one and are choosing to have multiple memorials, each with a portion of their loved one’s ashes. This can include scattering a portion of the ashes and then including the remaining ashes in a Living Urn tree burial, glass decorative piece, or jewelry, among many other options.