This eighteenth edition of state guides for storing and scattering ashes is focused on the state of New Jersey, the ‘Garden State’! This unique state is home to over a hundred miles of beautiful coastline, stunning waterfalls and rivers, and some of the most picturesque state and national parks.
In New Jersey and many other states, cremation rates are quickly increasing. Along with this trend, funeral homes in New Jersey are frequently asked various questions by families related to scattering a family member’s ashes, including whether or not it is legal, where the scattering can be done in New Jersey, and what type of urn they should use to scatter ashes? In this comprehensive state guide, we highlight important information that answer these questions and many others.
Scattering Ashes: Regulations in New Jersey
In New Jersey there are no state-wide laws related to storing or scattering ashes. From the cremation process, the resulting ashes are harmless and pose no health risks. Ashes can be held in an urn, grave, niche, or crypt.
Even without state laws related to scattering ashes, it’s important to be respectful of others while scattering and check with your local city or county offices to find out if there are any local restrictions in place.
Where to Scatter Ashes in New Jersey?
Many people want to have their ashes scattered at a meaningful place to them or their family, at a favorite vacation spot, or a beautiful location outdoors. In New Jersey, there are almost endless places where people can scatter ashes – below we touch on a few of the more common ones.
- Yard or Other Private Property – As with most other states, no state laws exist in New Jersey that restrict you from scattering a loved one’s ashes in your yard or on other property you own. However, if you prefer to scatter on private property owned by another person or group, it’s important that you get their permission first.
- Scattering Gardens – Many churches, cemeteries, and memorial parks in New Jersey now have designated areas on their property where families can scatter ashes (commonly referred to as a ‘scattering garden’). With a quick online search you can typically find one or more near you.
- Public Land - With New Jersey’s many beautiful outdoor sites, there are a number of great options where you can scatter ashes. As mentioned above, there are no state laws in New Jersey that restrict scattering ashes on public land, however, before doing so you should check with your city or county offices to see if there are any restrictions at the local level.
- National Parks – There are nine amazing National Parks within the state of New Jersey. These have some of the most stunning sights in the state and are places where many people prefer to scatter ashes. It’s important to note that each National Park has their own rules and regulations related to scattering and some require permits that can take weeks or even months to obtain. Therefore, it’s important to plan ahead and contact the park ranger’s office at the National Park where you prefer to scatter before you hold a scattering event there.
- Water Burials – Many people in New Jersey prefer to have their ashes scattered at sea. There are a number of boating services throughout the state that provide this service – a quick internet search can typically find one or more options in your area. Just keep in mind that according to U.S. federal law ashes must be scattered at least 3 nautical miles from shore and the EPA needs to be notified within 30 days of a scattering at sea.
- From an Airplane – As with most other states, there are no state laws in New Jersey that restrict families from scattering a loved one’s ashes from the sky. Just be sure that the container or scattering urn used to scatter is held on to – federal law prohibits dropping any objects from the sky that can potentially cause harm to people or property.
How to Scatter Ashes in New Jersey?
With the growing number of people choosing to be cremated and then having their ashes scattered, a number of new urns designed for scattering have recently been introduced. These new types of urns are typically shaped like a long cylinder or tube, which helps you scatter away from yourself and avoid having ashes blow back on you.
Below we highlight a few of the more popular urns designed to scatter that are offered by many of the top funeral homes in New Jersey.
The leading new urns designed to scatter ashes are now offered by many of the top funeral homes throughout New Jersey. This includes the Eco Water Urn, Eco Scattering Urn, and scattering urns made from paper. All of these are TSA approved and are offered at reasonable price points (compared to other urn or burial options on the market).
Eco Water Urn
The new Eco Water Urn has quickly become the leading water burial urn of choice among funeral homes throughout New Jersey and in other states. This patent pending biodegradable urn floats upright (similar to a buoy) for up to a few minutes, then the bottom dissolves and the ashes are gracefully spread in the water. The Eco Water Urn comes packaged in an attractive bamboo case, a perfect piece to include in ceremonies and to safely transport the urn holding a loved one or pet’s ashes to that special place on the water.
Eco Scattering Urn
The patented Eco Scattering Urn is made entirely from bamboo, a sustainable resource and one of the strongest construction materials available. This unique tube-like urn has a proprietary locking mechanism on top that helps families scatter with control and ease. It also secures the ashes in the urn while traveling to a special place to scatter. In addition, with the Eco Scattering Urn, families have the option to scatter at one location, then re-secure the ashes back in the urn to take to another location to scatter or bring home.
Flow, the Ice Urn
Flow, the Ice Urn is a new revolutionary urn that will soon be available to families in New Jersey. This unique patented urn is made entirely of ice and is arguably the most eco-friendly urns on the market. It floats gracefully on top on top of the water, before it starts to melt and disperses the ashes. This special urn has received multiple prestigious design awards in Europe and will soon be available in New Jersey and at a funeral home near you!
Paper Scattering Urns
There are a number of scattering urns manufactured from paper that are offered by many funeral homes in New Jersey and can be also found online. These typically have a laminate layer on the outside (so they’re not truly biodegradable), however are typically a lower cost option to other scattering urns. Most paper scattering urns come with a design or symbol printed on the outside and are meant for one-time use (and not to scatter at multiple locations). In addition, while loading the ashes, a piece needs to be glued into the urn – a fairly straightforward step, however, if this causes you stress, enlist a family member, friend, or local funeral director to help.
With the increasing cremation rate in New Jersey and in many other states, a number of beautiful new urn and memorials options have recently become available. With so options available to families, it can be a challenge for some to only choose one. Therefore, many families are electing to separate a loved one’s ashes into multiple memorials. This can include scattering a portion of the cremated ashes and then including the remaining ashes in a Living Urn tree burial, a stone, jewelry or even a colorful glass piece, among many other options.