The News Today
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8.17.19
Dead Serious

Washington Is One Signature Away From Legalizing Human Composting

April 23rd 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Future Society
Philip Cohen/Victor Tangermann

Human Remains

On Friday, Washington’s state senators and congresspeople finalized their approval of bill 5001 — an item of legislation that would legalize human composting.

The bill will now head to the desk of the state’s governor, Jay Inslee. If he signs it, the legislation will go into effect in 2020, making Washington residents the first in the nation to have this economical, environmentally-friendly option for disposing of their bodies after death.

Life After Death

The process outlined in the legislation is called “recomposition,” which involves placing a body in a chamber that accelerates decomposition. After about a month, the body is transformed into a nutrient-packed soil that is returned to the deceased’s family or loved ones, who can then use the soil to plant a tree, nourish a garden, or really, whatever they feel like.

“Recompose gets as close to the natural process of decomposition [as] you’d assume a body would undergo before we had an industrialized society,” environmental sustainability analyst Troy Hottle told The Seattle Times. “In an urban environment, which is where the global population is growing and land use is at a premium, it’s the most efficient and environmentally sound method of burial.”

READ MORE: Washington may become first state to legalize human composting [The Seattle Times]

More on human remains: Washington May Become the First State to Legalize Human Composting