Friday, January 27, 2023

New York State legalizes composting of human bodies

New York has become the sixth US state to allow so-called human composting.

People can now turn their bodies into dirt after death, which is considered a greener alternative to burial or cremation.

also known as “natural biological deficiency”The practice causes a body to decompose for several weeks after being sealed in a container.

In 2019, Washington was the first US state to legalize it. Colorado, Oregon, Vermont and California followed suit.

New York is the sixth US jurisdiction to allow human composting after the seal of approval was given Saturday by the state’s Democratic governor, Cathy Hochul.

The process takes place in special buildings and unlike traditional burials, Decomposition takes place above ground.

A body is placed in a closed container with selected materials such as wood chips, alfalfa and straw, and slowly decomposes under the action of microbes.

After a period of about a month, and a heating process to eliminate any potential contamination, loved ones receive the resulting soil. It can be used for planting flowers, vegetables or trees.

An American company, Recompose, has said its service can save a ton of carbon compared to traditional cremation or burial.

Carbon dioxide emissions are one of the main contributors to climate change because they act to trap Earth’s heat in a phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect.

Traditional coffin burial also consumes wood, soil and other natural resources.

Proponents of human composting say it is not only a more environmentally friendly option, but also more practical in cities where space for cemeteries is limited.

“Approving New York’s process was a huge step forward for accessible green death care across the country,” Return Home, a Washington-based provider, told the New York Post.

But for some, there are ethical questions about what happens to the soil as a result of composting.

The Catholic bishops of New York State reportedly opposed the law, arguing that human bodies should not be treated as “household waste”.

Concerns have also been raised about the cost of composting. But firm Recompose, whose Seattle plant is the world’s first, says its $7,000 fee is “comparable” to other options.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the average cost of a funeral with cremation in the US in 2021 was $7,848, or $6,971 for a funeral with cremation.

In the rest of the world, human fertilization is legal in one country: Sweden.

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BBC-NEWS-SRC: Imported: 2023-01-02 14:50:06

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