Washington State Approves The Use Of Human Corpse As Compost

Posted on May 24 2019 , at 05:52 pm
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One of America’s leading states and home to Microsoft, Washington State has passed a law that permits the family members of a deceased person to use the remains of their loved ones as compost.

The new law specifies that people can have their corpses turned into soil through a process called natural organic reduction which serves as an alternative to burial or cremation.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center, turns to talk with Katrina Spade, upper left, the founder and CEO of Recompose, a company that hopes to use composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., before signing a bill into law that allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into soil in a span of several weeks. The law makes Washington the first state in the U.S. to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Governor Jay Inslee signed the law on Tuesday, making Washington the first American state to legalize human corpse composting which will come into effect on May 1, 2020.

What the law seeks to achieve is to make it easy for people living in places that have scarcity of land for graveyard to have means to dispose corpse without going through the hassles of cremation or embalming for a long time.

The CEO of the human composting company, Recompose, Katrina Spade who led the lobby for the law explained that the body is covered in natural materials, like straw or wood chips, and allowed to decompose over a period of three weeks to one month. Microbial activity breaks down the corpse into soil.

Once this is done, the deceased’s loved ones are given the soil to use for planting flowers, vegetables or trees.


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