Since the company opened operations on Dec. 20, 50 bodies have begun the composting process, 25 of which have been fully transformed into soil, at a cost of $5,500 per person. More than 775 people have already signed up for the company’s pre-pay membership, Precompose.
After death, a body (which cannot be embalmed but can be refrigerated to allow viewing) is received at the Recompose facility and placed in an 8 feet by 4 feet steel cylinder along with alfalfa, wood chips and straw. After 30 days, natural microbes break down the remains — including teeth and bones — into soft compost “genuinely good for your garden,” says Spade.
After another few weeks of aerating the soil, it’s ready for pick up. Most loved ones choose to take home a small amount of compost — 64 ounces — and donate the rest to help reforest Bells Mountain, a nearby land trust that has a partnership with the company.People Human Composting, a New End-of-Life Choice, Turns Bodies Into Soil