Human composting, which is seen as an environmentally friendly burial alternative, officially became legal in Washington state this week.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law May 21 a bill making it legal to compost bodies, a process being called “recomposition.” Under the measure, bodies can be laid to rest at facilities licensed to handle accelerated human decomposition.
According to a BBC report, one company, Recompose, could be the first to provide this service. The company places a body in a hexagonal steel container filled with alfalfa, wood chips and straw. Then the container is shut, and the body decomposes naturally within 30 days, creating two wheelbarrows' worth of soil, the report notes. At the end of the composting process, loved ones are given the soil, which can then be used for gardening or planting flowers and trees.
BBC has more information:
Washington has become the first state in the US to legalise human composting.
Under the new law, people there can now choose to have their body turned into soil after their death.
The process is seen as an alternative to cremations and burials, and as a practical option in cities where land for graveyards is scarce.