Recompose Human Body Composting Service
The plants will grow and the rivers will flow over my dead body. Literally. For real. No joke. On May 21, 2019, Washington State legalized "the contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil." Recompose, a Seattle-based startup calls this alternative to cremation and burial "natural organic reduction." I call it...human body composting, baby!
The State law goes into effect on May 1, 2020, at which time you and your loved ones will have the option to add Recompose's natural organic reduction / human body composting services to your list of death wishes. For an anticipated $5,500, the company will place the body inside a modular, reusable vessel, cover it with wood chips, and aerate it for about 30 days. During this time, thanks to a controlled ratio of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and moisture, naturally occurring thermophilic microbes and beneficial bacteria will take over, breaking down the remains - bones, teeth, the whole shebang - into soil.
Nutrient-rich soil, Recompose points out, that "can then be used to grow new life." In addition to minimizing waste and conserving the land space caskets consume, this dead body composting process also eliminates the pollution of groundwater with embalming fluid, and the emissions of CO2 from cremation, as well as the manufacturing of caskets, headstones, and grave liners.
After the 30-day decomposition period, Recompose will screen the soil for non-organics, and ensure the composting process is complete.
In case you're wondering - and you know you are - the average human body produces about 1 cubic yard of soil. (I've included an image of what 1 cubic yard looks like in the image gallery above.)
When the You Compost (or Grandma Compost or Uncle Henry Compost) is ready, Recompose welcomes your friends and family to it, comparing its looks and texture to the topsoil you'd buy at a nursery. No word on the smell. Any remaining soil will be spread over conservation land in the Puget Sound region.
Once Recompose is open for business, they'll be able to provide human body composting services to anyone, including bodies coming from out of state or country.