The bill will go into effect in May 2020.
Washington is introducing a new law next year which will allow the legalization of composting human remains. According to CNN, the state became the first in America to pass such a law after Gov. Jay Inslee signed off on the bill. It’s set to go into effect next May.
The idea of composting bodies is meant to be an alternative to the cremation or burial of a body. It’s a more cost-friendly substitute for those who can’t afford either method of disposition of human remains. Burials cost anywhere between $8K to $25K while cremations can go for $6K. Katrina Spade, the CEO of body composting company, Recompose, said that they’re aiming to bring the cost of composting remains to $5,500.
The bill describes the act of composting bodies as a “contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil.” Sen. Jamie Pedersen, the bill’s sponsor, said they’re introducing this method as a more environmentally friendly alternative to burial or cremation.
“It’s about time we apply some technology, allow some technology to be applied to this universal human experience … because we think that people should have the freedom to determine for themselves how they’d like their body to be disposed of,” he said.
Spade explained that during the process of the body being composed, family members of the deceased can visit the facility before receiving the soil that remains.
“(The) body is covered in natural materials, like straw or wood chips, and over the course of about three to seven weeks, thanks to microbial activity, it breaks down into soil,” she said about the process.
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