“It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death,” said Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People’s Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals.
The practice is cited as more environmentally friendly than cremation or burials — which supporters claim pollutes the ground with chemicals and creates cumbersome coffins that take up space underground.
“That’s a serious weight on the earth and the environment as your final farewell,” said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, the Seattle Democrat who sponsored the measure.
One of Pedersen’s constituents, Katrina Spade, is founder and CEO of Recompose. Spade came up with the idea while she was a graduate student in architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She modeled it on a practice farmers have used for decades to dispose of livestock.
Spade even executed a pilot program last year at Washington State University that reduced six human bodies — all donors — into soil.
“Our service — recomposition — gently converts human remains into soil, so that we can nourish new life after we die,” reads the Recompose website.
Sen. Jamie Pedersen, however, said he has received angry emails from people who call the idea disgusting.
“The image they have is that you’re going to toss Uncle Henry out in the backyard and cover him with food scraps,” he said.
To the contrary, he said, the process will be respectful.
With Post wires