Dust to Dust Green Burial and Nature Reserve Cemetery, Swansea, S.C.
 Most Asked Questions

How did your cemetery begin, and who operates it?
My wife and I were talking one night about what the other should do if something happened to one of us.  After doing our research on cemeteries, we decided we wanted to be buried naturally on our family farm.  The more we learned about the laws, the more we realized that people should be given the opportunity to have a simple burial.  We worked to develop a green burial cemetery and officially opened on September 1, 2009.  The cemetery is on our beautiful, family farm land and is paid for and double-zoned as a cemetery and nature reserve with an additional green burial deed restriction. 

My mom, Julia Bishop, my wife, Beth Bishop and I, Michael Bishop, share the duties of running the business.

What is the cost comparison of a Dust To Dust burial vs. a traditional one?
We offer an $800 plot which includes opening/closing costs.  Local transport is available for $200 or less.  Basic biodegradable caskets can be purchased locally, starting at $300.

Dust to Dust:                           Traditional:
$800 for an 8x10 plot              $2,000 for a 4x8 plot

No opening/closing costs      $800 opening/closing
No vault                                    $1,000 for vault
No embalming                         $600 for embalming
grave marker is optional        $500 for grave marker
funeral director is optional    $3,500 funeral director
casket is optional                    $3,000 for casket

Explain the term "green burial"...
In a green burial, there is no concrete, steel or formaldehyde allowed.  Because the land is “deed restricted,” it can only be used as a green burial cemetery from here on.  The land being zoned as a “nature reserve,” means it is set aside for eternity and protected.  Dust To Dust is not a perpetual care cemetery.  It is natural, semi-cleared farm land.  The cemetery is on the back side of a beautiful pasture where an occasional horse, goat, turkey or deer may roam.  Biodegradable shrouds and caskets are allowed, as well as flush-to-the-ground headstones of natural material.

Why choose a green burial?
It is a natural way to be laid to rest and it benefits the environment.  Green burial is less expensive than a traditional burial, and that keeps money in your family’s pocket!


What if I want to be buried at Dust To Dust, but my family wants to hire a funeral director to run the service?
If your family chooses to use a funeral director, make sure they are aware that we do not allow embalmed bodies.  Also make sure they understand that only a biodegradable casket may be used.  By law, you can purchase a casket from another source or build a casket yourself.  The funeral home must allow you to do so and not charge you any type of fee associated with this.  Your family will need to let the funeral director know where you plan to be buried.  They can contact us and we will make transport arrangements with them.  If your family hires a funeral director, the funeral director will be responsible for filing the death certificate.

What if my family chooses to handle the arrangements themselves and not use a funeral director?
1. Your family needs to inform the coroner of their plans.  The coroner will issue a Burial-Removal-Transit Form (BRT), which allows the body to be transported by the person you designate.  You may want to contact your county coroner in advance if you have any questions about this process.  Our cemetery street address is 205 Nulty Crossing, Swansea, SC 29160, and will be needed for the BRT.

2. Next your family will need to contact the transporter of the body.  We work with a transporter who is dependable and inexpensive.  His name is listed below in the “resource” information, if interested.  The transporter and the cemetery will coordinate the burial plans.
3. Your family will need to decide whether or not to purchase a biodegradable casket or shroud.
4.  Newspapers will need to be contacted to have an obituary printed, if desired.  Your family will need to contact us regarding this, as deaths must be verified before obituaries can be printed.
5. Your family will need to submit a signed Dust To Dust Contract along with full payment, prior to the burial.
6.  DHEC will need to be contacted to file a death certificate.  This must be done within 5 days of the death.  It costs $12.00.  We will be more than happy to help with the filing of the death certificate if the family desires. Contact information for DHEC is listed below in the “resource” information.
7. And finally, your family will need to decide the day and time of the burial.  They will need to discuss whether to have a grave-side, family or church-led service, or simply a burial with a memorial to follow somewhere else. These are things you may want to discuss with your family ahead of time.

Where is Dust To Dust Cemetery Located?
We are located in Swansea, SC, approximately 20 miles south of Columbia.  From Highway 321, take Highway 6 towards Pelion for 2 miles and turn left on Nulty Crossing.  Look for the first gate on the left into the pasture.  The cemetery is on the back side of the property.  Please contact us to make an appointment to visit the site, as it is private property.

What are other resources available to help me make decisions about my final resting?
The Funeral Consumer’s Alliance at 803-772-7054 or www.scfunerals.org

What are the Dust To Dust Contract Guidelines?

  • No vaults will be allowed.
  • Only biodegradable caskets may be used.  Caskets are not required.
  • Visitation is by appointment.
  • Marker may not exceed 2'x3' and must be installed flush with the ground.
  • No vertical headstones are allowed.  Markers must be natural (no brass or polish).
  • No bodies will be accepted which have been embalmed with toxic chemicals like formaldehyde.
  • Cemetery should be notified 8 hours prior to burial to ensure ample time to open plot.
  • Plots are designated by the cemetery for burial.  Purchaser does not get to pick his/her plot.  If purchaser has more than one plot, adjacent plots will be reserved upon burial for other deed holders.
  • Plants may be used on family plot, but must be approved prior to planting by cemetery, to ensure that the plants are noninvasive and natural.
  • Cemetery will not buy back plots.  Owner can resell plot and we will redo paperwork for a $50 transfer fee.
  • If you or your family members are interested in purchasing adjacent plots to a plot your family has already purchased and used, another contract must be received and payment for adjacent plot(s) must be made in full within 60 days of the original burial.

Is Financing Available?
Financing is available with us for as low as $20.00 per month. If you would like to finance with us, you will need to include $20.00 with your Dust To Dust Contract and then $20.00 will be due by the same date each month for 39 additional months.  Checks should be sent to Dust To Dust, PO Box 277, Swansea, SC 29160.  Balance must be paid in full prior to using plot.   Should account become 90 days late, contract is void and reimbursements will not be given.  Dust To Dust will send quarterly statements showing your balance.

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