Human composting being considered in Colorado

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DENVER (KDVR) — A technique called human composting is now being considered by the Colorado legislature. And there’s a funeral home in Denver that would like to offer this type of service.

Through the technique called natural organic reduction, a human body decomposes in just four weeks. Colorado’s state senate on Tuesday began considering a bill that would allow this technique.

The process involves pod-like vessels that decompose a body into soil in just 30 days. A body usually takes about a year to decompose on its own.  

It’s a service Feldman Mortuary of Denver is interested in offering if Colorado allows it.

“This is much better for the environment than a traditional burial. The carbon footprint is very low,” says Jaimie Sarche, director of pre-planning for Feldman Mortuary. 

Here’s how it works. The body is laid in the vessel filled with alfalfa and woodchips. Four weeks later, it’s broken down into pure soil.

Sarche says, “There’s just something about the heat that causes the decomposition process to be very very quick.”

What’s left is compost that can be used to grow things. Family members can take the soil home and use it in way they feel would honor a loved one. 

The first facility to do this was a place called “Recompose” in Washington State. 

Colorado was on track to OK this procedure last year, but COVID sidetracked the efforts. State Rep. Brianna Titone, who represents the Arvada area, was first to introduce the bill.

“To have something they could have brought back to them to grow flowers and trees in to remind them of their loved ones is so important to people,” Titone said.

The process would reduce the need for caskets and burial plots. Human composting is a new way to look at life after death.

The Catholic Church of Denver says it opposed this process last year and will oppose it again this year.

Titone believes the bill will make its way to the Colorado governor’s desk by March.

The Colorado Catholic Conference issued the following statement:

“The Catholic Church teaches that human life and the human body are sacred, and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral society. The conversion of human remains to soil does not promote human dignity. The Church’s objection is based on its belief that man is made in God’s image and likeness as a unified compositum of body and soul. While the Church does allow for cremation with limitations, the reduction of human remains into soil is not consistent with the Church’s theology of bodily resurrection and the promotion of human dignity and dominion over the earth.”

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