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World’s first human composting funeral home set to open in 2021

‘Deathcare’ company Recompose has announced the world’s first funeral home dedicated to composting human remains is set to open in Washington state in 2021.

The Independent reported that the company has spent two years working to bring the idea of natural organic reduction, the concept of human corpse compositing, saying it will feature a “significantly smaller carbon footprint.”

The site will feature around 75 hexagonal-shaped reusable ‘Recomposition Vessels’ and each body will be wrapped in a “breathable sheet and sealed in a bathtub-shaped vessel” which will be surrounded by wood chips and hay alongside alfalfa to encourage decomposition. 

The moisture and temperature controlled vessel will be rotated for between four to seven weeks, which will allow the bacteria to break down the remains. 

The final product will produce between 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of soil which families can take home to use as compost.

Recompose also stated, if any unclaimed soil is present, it will be donated to “reforestation efforts” in the area. Washington became the first US state to approve of this process in May this year.

Sen Jamie Pedersen, the Seattle Democrat said: “That’s a serious weight on the earth and the environment as your final farewell,” as the measure was approved.

She said, the legislation was inspired by Katrina Spade, her neighbour who came up with the idea of human composing.

Spade said: “We asked ourselves how we could use nature – which has perfected the life/death cycle – as a model for human death care. We saw an opportunity for this profound moment to both give back to the earth and reconnect us with these natural cycles.”

A pilot project at Washington State tested the idea on six bodies, all donors who wanted to be apart of the study. An official opening date for the site has not been announced yet.

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