Human Composting, a New End-of-Life Choice, Turns Bodies Into Soil

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