Halloween Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering how offensive it would be to dumpster dive in a cemetery and rescue old plastic flowers and the like. Would someone consider it sacrilege? Could the cops be called? I just know that there's a ton of stuff going to waste that could be repurposed, but I'm just wondering about anyone's thoughts on the actual act of reclaiming the materials.
Comments?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,812 Posts
I think it's great when stuff gets re-used rather than trashed. It wouldn't bother me a bit, but I suppose the best bet would be to dive discreetly to avoid upsetting anyone. Wait for a time when there aren't many people around and maybe tuck the stuff directly into an opaque plastic bag.

I guess I'd also avoid taking anything that had someone's name on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
While I'm also in favour of re-using/re-purposing (and I do it all the time!) there is always a line that shouldn't be crossed - and I think that this is one of them.

That's my personal opinion. It would not bother the dead at all but the living are another matter.
 
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
Back in the day mom would drive around the cemetery to find funeral flowers that had been tossed to the side of the road to place on the graves of family. Now there are many strict rules on what and when something can be used in a cemetery. Most I've come across have a week limit during mowing season before caretakers remove and toss. I'd say speak to the caregivers figure out the day they do their weekly removal and volunteer to help... then keep the best for yourself instead of tossing in the trash.

There is on cemetery near me that'll line a back roadway by the shed with things removed from the graves. I've gotten myself a pair of lovely planters that had Christmas arrangements in them... They looked ok enough to keep on the front steps, at the end of winter I tossed fake stuff and planted some nice flowers in them. I'm sure whomever's grave they were sitting on originally is happy to see new life in them.
 

·
The Cackling Cauldron
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
I would agree with Dandybrit. The biggest concern would be to those living family members who visit their dear departed. When most of us are not bothered by re purposing, than may go to far for some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
I have to agree with DandyBrit as well on this one. Having just lost both my Grand-parents I regularly put various things on their grave that eventually have to be thrown away. Although I am all for recycling, personally, it would upset me if I then saw the grave items used in someones Halloween display. Whatever the items are, vases, plastic flowers, wreaths etc they have been chosen with great care and love and many will have personal sentiment to them, just doesn't feel appropriate or respectful to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,812 Posts
Although I am all for recycling, personally, it would upset me if I then saw the grave items used in someones Halloween display. Whatever the items are, vases, plastic flowers, wreaths etc they have been chosen with great care and love and many will have personal sentiment to them, just doesn't feel appropriate or respectful to me.
So maybe avoid anything that looks like a unique and personal item (unless you're going to completely re-make it)? I did suggest not taking anything with a name on it for that reason. Most of what winds up in cemetery trash around here is mass-marketed stuff that no one could possibly recognize as being their specific trashed piece.
 
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
I have to agree with DandyBrit as well on this one. Having just lost both my Grand-parents I regularly put various things on their grave that eventually have to be thrown away. Although I am all for recycling, personally, it would upset me if I then saw the grave items used in someones Halloween display. Whatever the items are, vases, plastic flowers, wreaths etc they have been chosen with great care and love and many will have personal sentiment to them, just doesn't feel appropriate or respectful to me.
I understand the feelings on this, but for me and knowing both my parents we all would rather see the items recycled and reused by someone then tossed into the trash. I am not suggesting taking stuff from an actual grave but once the cemetery grounds keeper removes and places things in the trash can I'd say why not give it a new life. Both my parents were young during the Great Depression, mom's family was single mother and 4 siblings... The stories of dumpster diving at the Chicago Stock yards for a meal were told and retold. So finding new uses for things going into the trash was important to them. Just goes to show your mileage may vary. Again I'm not suggesting removing things from the grave BUT from the trash cans.

Also no sure how cemetery rules are in the UK but so many... too many in my opinion... here have very strict rules like no decorations except flowers, I got a stern lecture from the docent of the cemetery my son's stone will be placed about Mylar balloons ruining stones that they touch and stick to, so NO NO NO NEVER EVER allowed in the cemetery. During mowing season EVERYTHING is removed to insure the safety and ease of the mower. The dislike of fake flowers because after a rain or two they are nothing more then litter. So if a cemetery allows a solar light, a nice vase or planter chances are you'll find it in the trash can within a week if it's mowing season. To me that's more sorrowful than seeing something I left at a cemetery marker being reused and appreciated by others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,499 Posts
AS suggested earlier, I would definitely go and talk to the grounds keepers and ask what days they remove items from the cemetery plots and ask if you could gander through what they are going to toss away. Offer to help them put the stuff they collect around the cemetery in the dumpster so you don't delay their time while you gander/gather. Put what you collect into a dark sack or box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
I understand everyone has different feelings and thoughts on this issue, and as Stinkerbell n Frog Prince said if they do make you remove stuff in the US after such a short time then I guess recycling some things wouldn't be too bad if you are ok with that. The cemetery where my grandparents and great grandparents are buried is run by the local council, not any religious authority and they are really good regarding what you can put on the graves (religious authorities are a completely different matter and are very strict). People have artificial and real flowers, there are photos in frames, helium balloons, ornaments, wind chimes, lights and all kinds of things. They aren't removed for moving as people do keep them close to the headstone, each grave has a rectangular area that has gravel rather than all grass which makes it easy for them to just mow around and for people to put on what they like. The only thing they ask us to remove is after Christmas, and that is the real wreaths once they start to break down, but artificial ones remain unless the family remove it. I am a great believer in recycling, and have a loft full of all sorts, but personally, I just think on this one, whether it's a vase, artificial flowers, wreath whatever it may be it was there to remember loved ones, and for me, it just doesn't feel right to then use them in a Halloween display. At the end of the day though, it is up to the individual and how they feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Yeahhhhh the thought makes me uncomfortable personally. I understand crafting isn't cheap and under normal circumstances my thought would be well if its in the trash and you could get some use from it, why waste it? But these are used in remembrance of people who have passed, be it peacefully or tragically. The thought of taking something that was used in mourning and turning it into holiday decor just doesn't sit right with me.
 
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
This is definitely a your mileage may vary thing and I respect that others feel differently.

Few cemeteries in my part of the world would allow things like what Sharonr3106 wrote about with her cemetery. It is nice to know that there are still cemeteries that allow people to honor their loved ones anyway they like, sadly not everyone has that opportunity - here is a link to a typical list of rules many cemeteries here follow http://newtacoma.com/42/Floral-Regulations.html

It was with these rules in mind that I made the comment I'd rather see things saved for reuse then end up in the city dump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
As a sidebar, I would NEVER EVER attempt to retrieve anything from a grave. Even something that was windblown from a few rows over would make me uncomfortable. I speak specifically of going into the dumpster that the maintenance persons use to toss old items out. I also would never take anything obviously unique or with a name/inscription/plaque/etc. on it. I'm really just speaking of foam wreath bases, plastic flowers, and things readily available elsewhere.

If I do indeed perform a drive by looking for stuff, I certainly have enough sense not to do anywhere near a grieving/visiting person or family. Screaming "DIBS" and running off with a flower spray doesn't seem to be the best approach. ;)
 

·
His name is Roger Clyne
Joined
·
9,782 Posts
That doesn't seem so bad. Especially if it's just in the garbage & is just going to the landfill.

At our local cemetery stuff ends up being blown all around & into the fencing or even across the street into that fence. I have retrieved that stuff mostly to just throw it away & keep the town clean.

And this time of year, the stuff is most likely just mown over if it's in the wrong spot. I tend to pick up bits & pieces just to throw away more than anything else.

I have put up flags for Memorial Day & July 4th & lost them to the mowers & once to the American Legion. My flags were like theirs & they took the flags I'd put up for my father & grandfather thinking they were theirs. Since then I put up cheapie flags that don't get taken but if I'm not quick to remove them they'll just mow them down.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top