Corpse to compost: The next funeral trend?

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In Washington, a human composting facility is set to begin operations in the Seattle area in spring 2021.

Recompose’s process involves sealing a body into a container with wood chips, alfalfa and hay and adding heat to stimulate microbial munching. The process saves a metric ton of carbon dioxide compared to cremation and conventional burial, and generates compost for personal or municipal use.

“The transformation of human to soil happens inside our reusable, hexagonal Recomposition Vessels,” says Recompose. “When the process has finished, families will be able to take home some of the soil created, while gardens on-site will remind us that all of life is interconnected.” One corpse generates a cubic yard of soil in about 30 days. Any unclaimed soil will be donated to conservation land around Seattle.

“Natural organic reduction is a managed biological process used to convert organic material, including human remains, into a stable earthy organic material that is unrecognizable as human remains. During the process, change occurs on a molecular level,” Recompose adds. The service is expected to cost  $5,500 per body.