fbpx

New York Legalizes ‘Human Composting’

National

Hand holding the soil in the heart shape. | Image by A3pfamily/Shutterstock

New York became one of six states to legalize “human composting” after Governor Kathy Hochul signed Bill A382 into law on December 31.

Human composting, also known as natural organic reduction or terramation, is the process of decomposing a human corpse into compost by enclosing the body in a semi-open box filled with wood chips, alfalfa, or straw.

Within six to eight weeks, each composted body will produce “a heaped cubic yard of nutrient-dense soil, equivalent to 36 bags of soil,” according to the Guardian.

Human composting is a relatively new phenomenon. Washington was the first state to legalize the practice in 2019. Within three years, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, California, and now New York have followed suit.

The idea of human composting was first brought to the general public by Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of Recompose, a Seattle-based company that composts the deceased for $7,000.

“Human composting uses 87% less energy than traditional burial or cremation,” reads Recompose’s website. “Each year, about 3 million people die in the U.S. Cremation burns fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide and particulates into the atmosphere.”

“Conventional burial consumes valuable urban land, pollutes the soil, and contributes to climate change,” Recompose asserts.

Michelle Menter, the manager at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve in New York, applauded the move by Hochul and said the cemetery would consider implementing the practice.

“Every single thing we can do to turn people away from concrete liners and fancy caskets and embalming, we ought to do and be supportive of,” argued Menter.

Dennis Poust, the executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s bishops on legislative issues, urged Hochul, who is also Catholic, to veto the bill.

“A process that is perfectly appropriate for returning vegetable trimmings to the earth is not necessarily appropriate for human bodies,” said Poust in a statement.

Poust noted that “human bodies are not household waste, and we do not believe that the process meets the standard of reverent treatment for our earthly remains.”

On the flip side, Hochul was sent numerous cards from “Order of the Good Death,” a human compost advocacy group, which urged her to sign the bill into law. The cards read “Compost Me” or “I Want to be a Tree When I Die. Ask me how.”

“For a lot of folks being turned into soil that can be turned to grow into a garden or tree is pretty impactful,” argued Spade.

Human composting bills have been introduced in several states, such as Delaware, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. These bills are still in progress. In Hawaii and Maine, bills regarding this controversial “death care” practice failed to pass.

Currently, Texas outlaws human composting and has yet to introduce any legislation on the matter.

If you enjoyed this article, please support us today!

Formed in 2021, we provide fact-based, non-partisan news. The Dallas Express is a non-profit organization funded by charitable support and advertising.

Please join us on the important journey to make Dallas a better place!

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of
guest

7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lucille Rodriguez
Lucille Rodriguez
25 days ago

this is just gross

Cricket
Cricket
25 days ago

Wow, the depraved mind has no limits….

Wrath
Wrath
25 days ago

“Conventional burial consumes valuable urban land, pollutes the soil, and contributes to climate change,” Two points in this argument. (1) Consumes valuable land…it’s about money. (2) climate change…a continuing lie to justify a money grab. The climate change agenda is total garbage and so are those who parrot it. The founder of Greenpeace resigned and stated “climate change activists “ have turned totally political.

Esther
Esther
25 days ago

It’s just speeding up a natural and inevitable process without polluting, right?

Jeff
Jeff
Reply to  Esther
25 days ago

People can opt for a direct burial which skips the embalming process. Locking a dead body in a box for a fee is disrespectful to bodily remains.

Pap
Pap
24 days ago

If they want to help the environment, JUST PLANT TONS MORE TREES. Pretty simple. Saying people think it would be nice growing back as a tree, reminded me of a movie I saw a couple of times when I was 5 & 6 (early 60’s). “From Hell it Came”. Scared me half to death. (Saw it many years later, pretty corny by then.). About a native that was unjustly accused of killing his father, the chief (witch doctor and new chief were guilty), and then buried alive in a hollow tree trunk along with a knife. He grew back as a live tree that uprooted and was killing for vengeance. The knife was jutting out the side under his limb/arm. The white scientists finally figured out that the only way to kill it was to shoot the knife into its heart. I was checking under my bed for weeks before I would get up. And then I ran. lmao

And yes, human compost is absurd. Saying the human body is garbage. Right up there with selling aborted baby parts.

RiverKing
RiverKing
24 days ago

How long until human composting in (Blue) states where it is now legal becomes mandatory?