Colorado set to become second US state to allow human composting after death

Colorado set to become second US state to allow human composting after death

Colorado could soon join Washington in allowing human composition as an alternative to conventional burial. 

The bill, which has already passed in one legislative chamber, will authorise human remains to be converted to soil using a container that accelerates biological decomposition, also known as "natural reduction" according to the Denver Post. 

Colorado would become the second state in the US after Washington to make the process legal. 

Recompose, a Washington state funeral home, became the first funeral home in the US to offer human composting. 

The process involves the body being placed in a cradle, then into a vessel over a bed of wood chips, alfalfa and straw. 

The body is then covered with more material. The body will stay like that for about 30 days in a green-house like facility as it's transformed into soil. The soil is then moved to a finishing container where it dries out for 2-4 weeks. 

Each body creates a few hundred pounds of soil. 

The Process is more environmentally friendly than cremation or burial. CEO and founder of Recompose, Katrina Spade told the Denver Post she wanted an option that could save space in urban environments. 

The process requires one-eighth of the energy it would take in conventional burial or cremation.  Spade said she plans to bring Recompose to Colorado if the bill becomes law. 

“It’s an added choice to the menu of options when someone dies,” Spade said. “It’s a choice, both for the consumer — which I think is really important that we have as many choices as possible for bodies when we die — and it’s also a choice for funeral homes if they decide they want to get involved.” She told the Denver Post. 

The Colorado Bill will not allow for the soil to be sold, for the soil to be used to grow food for human consumption or for the soil of multiple people to be combined without consent of that person. 

The bill will need to pass a second house committee and the full house this year.