The first funeral home dedicated to human composting will open in 2021 in Washington state.
Recompose has spent a couple of years working to bring the concept known as a natural organic reduction to the public, advertising the process as a natural alternative to traditional burial and cremation.
Design company Oslon Kundig released digital renderings of what firm’s first site will look like in 2021. The facility will also feature a modular system of 75 hexagonal and reusable ‘Recomposition Vessels’ that are arranged to offer a peaceful and private space for loved ones to hold rituals or memorial ceremonies.
The body will be wrapped in a breathable sheet and covered in a bath-tub shaped vessel. It will be surrounded by alfalfa, hay and wood chips for decomposition.
For 4 to 7 weeks, the temperature and moisture-controlled vessel is rotated to aerate the contents, letting the remains be broken down by naturally-occurring bacteria.
The results will be a cubic yard of soil, weighing 2,000 to 3,000 lbs. Families and loved ones can take the soil home while the unclaimed ones will be donated to reforestation efforts.
It was in 2017 when Katrina Spade founded Recompose. “We asked ourselves how we could use nature – which has perfected the life/death cycle – as a model for human death care,” she said.
“We saw an opportunity for this profound moment to both give back to the earth and reconnect us with these natural cycles.”
One internet user commented: “I hate the thought of being buried or burnt, so I like this idea. Not sure I’d want the soil back from any dead relatives though.”
Another wrote: “Doesn’t the human body smell really bad when it starts decomposing? What about the smell?”
A third added: “I’d rather be wrapped in a blanket and buried beneath a tree, but this is a great alternative if there’s no natural burial site nearby.”
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