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The World's First Human Composting Facility Will Let Us Recycle Ourselves

In life, we strive to reduce and reuse. The human composting center Recompose aims to offer a more sustainable death.

What happens to us when we die? It’s one of life’s most enigmatic and profound questions. And—let me clear this up now—I don’t have any insights to offer on the afterlife. But the first renderings of new after-death center Recompose (don’t call it a “funeral home”) reveal another option for the afterlife of our bodies here on earth: composting.

The flagship facility, expected to open in Seattle in spring 2021, is designed to reconnect human death rituals with nature and to offer a more sustainable alternative to conventional burial options. Today, burial often involves chemical-laden embalming, while cremation uses eight times more energy, according to the architects at Olson Kundig who designed the new facility. Recompose will offer a first-of-its-kind “natural organic reduction” service on-site, which will “convert human remains into soil in about 30 days, helping nourish new life after death.”

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