America’s first funeral home for composting human remains is open for business

With the “death positive” movement gaining momentum, the idea of a human remains becoming rich soil that can lead to new life seems — oddly refreshing.

After a decade of planning and fundraising and a successful bid to change Washington state law, Recompose, a composting funeral home, is finally open for business.

The facility, which received its first body in December, looks somewhat like a giant beehive in a warehouse. Each hexagon shape is a long tube filled with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. That is where the human remains lie. Add in a little organic material munching bacteria, and the human body will turn into a large box of mulch.

The composting process, referred to as “natural organic reduction,” takes about one month and costs $5,500. Families can then decide to find a home in nature for the remains, or Recompose will deliver it to Bells Mountain conservation forest in southern Washington.

The composting process, referred to as “natural organic reduction,” takes about one month and costs $5,500. Families can then decide to find a home in nature for the remains, or Recompose will deliver it to Bells Mountain conservation forest in southern Washington.

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