Arizona Legislature introduces bill to legalize new burial method

Arizona Legislature introduces bill to legalize new burial method

A container of compost produced from human remains is shown at Recompose, a company that composts human remains into soil, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Kent, Wash., south of Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By Robert Gundran

January 16, 2024

California, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington all have laws on the books that allow for human composting.

 

Most Arizonans choose between burial or cremation for themselves and their loved ones after they die. But one local lawmaker introduced a bill that would allow people to return to the earth in a more renewable way.

Human composting may sound a bit grim, but it’s a way of turning someone’s remains into fertile soil that can be used in a garden.

Instead of a corpse staying in a casket on an expensive plot of land or remaining as ashes inside an urn, this burial method allows a person to become part of the earth again and promote growth of plants.

Each person who chooses human composting over traditional burial or cremation prevents a metric ton of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, according to Recompose, a human composting company.

California, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington all have laws on the books that allow for human composting.

Arizona could become the latest, as Republican State Rep. Laurin Hendrix introduced HB 2081 to allow human composting as an additional legal way to dispose of a body after death.

The bill has been assigned to committee in the Legislature but has not yet been voted on.

 

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Author

  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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