Back To Earth: Washington Likely To Allow ‘Human Composting’

By: | May 3rd, 2019

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Washington could become the first state in the US to legalize composting human remains as a burial alternative. The process is known as “natural organic reduction” or “human composting”.

This environmentally-friendly process could turn human remains into two wheelbarrows full of nutrient-rich soil in matter of weeks.

The bill, called “Concerning human remains”, passed the Legislature on April 19 and is being reviewed by the office of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee. If signed by Inslee, it will give citizens the right to dispose of their body after death through “natural organic reduction” and alkaline hydrolysis.

Back to Earth when it’s your time to go:

State Senator Jamie Pedersen said, “It is sort of astonishing that you have this completely universal human experience — we’re all going to die — and here’s an area where technology has done nothing for us. We have the two means of disposing of human bodies that we’ve had for thousands of years, burying and burning,”

Most common ways we dispose of the dead are burial or cremation. None of them is environmentally friendly. Burial method not only involves wood and steel, it also results in leakage of dangerous chemicals into the ground. Cremation requires a lot of energy and results in air pollution.

Method of natural organic reduction involves putting the bodies in a temperature-controlled rotating vessel along with some woodchips, straw, and gases. Once the process is completed, a cubic yard of soil per person is left. Recompose is a ‘human composting’ company and is expected to provide the service, once the bill make its way into law.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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