New York legalises composting of human dead bodies, the environment-friendly alternative to burial or cremation

This process which is also known as "natural organic reduction," saw a counter by Catholic bishops who believed that human remains mustn't be treated as "domestic waste."

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, January 02, 2023, 10:10 AM IST
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New York legalises composting of human bodies, the environment-friendly alternative to burial or cremation | Representative Image/ Pexels

New York can now see the mortal remains of humans being used in a much more environment-friendly and greener way. The region has joined Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and California to legalise human composting.

BBC reported that New York is thus the sixth American jurisdiction to allow human composting, following Saturday's stamp of approval from Kathy Hochul, the state's Democratic governor. The process which is also known as "natural organic reduction," enables human bodies after death to be turned into soil. Reportedly, the process that seeks special above-ground facilities is an environmentally friendly alternative to burial or cremation.

A concerned official aware of the process was quoted in the media report as saying "The service can save a huge amount of carbon compared with a cremation or a traditional burial." To use this alternative, one must likely produce the body to a cemetery corporation certified as an organic reduction facility, suitably contained and ventilated, and not containing "a battery, battery pack, power cell, radioactive implant or radioactive device".

Reports suggest that the process involves the body being put in a closed vessel along with selected materials such as woodchips, alfalfa, and straw grass, getting exposed to microbes. It is believed that it would take a month for it to turn into soil which can be later given to loved ones.

Initially, human composting saw a counter from Catholic bishops who believed that human remains mustn't be treated as "domestic waste."

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