Adding to the problem is that New York has not increased its crematory capacity. There’s a law in New York that says only cemeteries can own a crematory. Funeral homes can’t own one.
The law also states that cemeteries must be non-profits, so no one is allowed to open up a for-profit or non-cemetery crematory in New York. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that New York is not a city that has space to just expand and make their cemeteries and crematories bigger.
As a matter of fact, when Mayor Koch died, and there was no space in any Jewish cemeteries for him, he was actually buried in an episcopal cemetery. A very tiny Jewish section of the episcopal cemetery was created because he needed to be in Manhattan. That was where he wanted to be buried. (Google it- it’s a true story) Even though New York was seeing a surge in cremations over the last couple of years, our capacity has not increased.