Kathy Hochul legalizes human composting of dead bodies in New York

"The deceased is placed into a reusable, semi-open vessel containing suitable bedding – wood chips, alfalfa or straw – ideal for microbes to go about their work."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Saturday, the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, signed a bill into law that legalized terramation, which is the natural organic reduction of a person's body into fertilizer, also known as human composting. When the bill was introduced, its sponsors noted that human composting helps reduce carbon emissions.

According to the Guardian, "the deceased is placed into a reusable, semi-open vessel containing suitable bedding – wood chips, alfalfa or straw – ideal for microbes to go about their work. At the end of the process, a heaped cubic yard of nutrient-dense soil, equivalent to 36 bags of soil is produced that can then be used as fertilizer."

A cemetery must be "certified as an organic reduction facility" in order to properly turn a dead body into fertilizer. Their facility needs to have a particular ventilation HVAC system that expedites decomposition and the pre-fertilized body cannot have "a battery, battery pack, power cell, radioactive implant, or radioactive device" inside it. The process takes 60 days total, with a break 30 days in to check and see if any inorganic material was inside the carcass and to smash and shatter bones.

The New York Post reports that two Democrats, New York state Assembly Member Amy Paulin from Westchester and state Senator Leroy Comrie from Queens co-sponsored the bill.

The two sponsors said the bill helps "measures the state is putting in place to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050."

A manager at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve in central New York, Michelle Menter, said, "Every single thing we can do to turn people away from concrete liners and fancy caskets and embalming, we ought to do and be supportive of."

As The Post Millennial has reported, other states have passed legislation allowing dead human beings to be quickly transformed into fertilizer. In 2019, Democrat Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation that made Washington the first state in the US to approve human composting as an alternative to cremating or burying human remains. Then in 2021, Colorado and Oregon approved similar legislation. Vermont and California followed suit in 2022. New York is the sixth state.

The New York State Catholic Conference said human composting "does not provide the respect due to bodily remains." Executive director Dennis Poust said, "Composting and fertilizing may be appropriate for vegetable clippings or eggshells, but not for our mortal remains."


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