At our recent Sacred Earth Matters retreat, the topic of Recompose was suggested with the thought of sharing this brand new concept with our congregation through a presentation, hopefully this fall. Until that can happen, here is some information to begin to educate ourselves.
Recompose is a Washington state based company offering a death care service to convert human bodies into soil through a process knows as natural organic reduction, or human composting.
The process, which takes about 30 days, is a green alternative to the existing disposal options of cremation and burial. Human remains are placed in a separate vessel and combined with wood chips, alfalfa and straw. The body converts to a rich soil (about 2 wheelbarrows of soil), which can then be taken home and placed in a garden, plant a tree or donated.
Conceived by designer and death advocate Katrina Spade in 2017, Washington State is the first state to legalize natural organic reduction. SB 5001 went into effect on May 1, 2020 and was signed by Gov. Inslee. The first Recompose facility opened Dec, 20, 2020 in Seattle, WA, but things were put on hold due to COVID, and just now are reopening on a small scale.
You can read more about Recompose by going to the People’s Memorial Association website or to Wikipedia. We’ll be sure to let everyone know when we secure a speaker on this topic in the upcoming months.