Washington Becomes 1st State to Legalize Composting Human Corpses

May 22, 2019

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Residents of Washington state may want to rewrite their wills, because they've got a new option for what to do with their bodies when they shuffle off this mortal coil. The Seattle Times reports that, on Tuesday, Washington became the first U.S. state to legalize human composting. The law, which takes effect May 1, 2020, will allow for the Seattle company Recompose to build the first urban "organic reduction" funeral home in the U.S. The "organic reduction" or composting process involves wood chips, straw and other materials. It takes about four weeks and is similar to the current process of "livestock composting." In a test run, the process resulted in clean, rich, odorless soil.