Lawmaker Pushes ‘Human Composting’ as Burial Alternative

A lawmaker from Washington State plans to introduce a bill that would make it the first place to allow “human composting”—placing dead bodies in a cylindrical vessel with organic material like wood and straw and speeding up decomposition of the remains into a rich soil that can be used to grow plants. “People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves,” state Sen. Jamie Pedersen told NBC News. Proponents say the process, also called “recomposition,” is less expensive and better for the environment than burying embalmed bodies or cremation. Pedersen’s bill, which will be introduced next month, would also allow alkaline hydrolysis, which involves dissolving of bodies in a pressurized vessel with water and lye.