Cemetery Overcrowding is Leading Europe to Recycle Burial Plots

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Modern-day ossuary in a Portuguese cemetery.When the city of Faro in the southern coast of Portugal ran out of burial space early this summer, officials were forced to reckon with the dreaded issue of cemetery overcrowding. Recent decedents accumulated in the coolers of local funeral homes, lending a sense of urgency to the management of the city’s dead, and in the end, there was no choice but to make room where there was none. Existing burial plots were cleared of their long-term occupants and reused, in a strategy that raised fewer eyebrows than the problem of overcrowding itself.