Washington is first state to allow composting of human bodies

SEATTLE (AP) — Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.

It allows licensed facilities to offer "natural organic reduction," which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows' worth of soil in a span of several weeks.

Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread the same way they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated.

Supporters say it's more environmentally friendly than embalming or cremation, and it makes sense in cities where land for burials is scarce.

The law takes effect in May 2020.

 

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