We’re a year away from the first human composting facility will open in Seattle. Recompose will be able to hold 75 bodies at a time and turn a dead body into usable soil in 30 days in a process that they say is less resource-intensive than cremation or burial. Burial requires chemical embalming and cremation is energy intensive, but with human composting, waste is minimized. Bodies are sealed in tubes, covered in woodchips, alfalfa and hay, the temperature is regulated, and conditions are optimized for bacteria to breakdown organic matter over the course of several weeks. At the end of the process, some families will take the soil home to use and others will donate it to conservation projects. 

Human composting begins in Seattle in 2021