Seattle non-profit group Urban Death Project has a wacky idea: to provide human composting, so recently deceased human bodies can be used to help nurture plant life. Non-profit organizers want to begin the service within three years, but must complete fundraising and build a facility to conduct research. The Washington State Department of Licensing said the group will also have to receive a license to operate as a funeral home.
The bodies would be stored up to 10 days in a refrigeration unit, and no embalming would be required.
"The idea is to fold the dead back into the city," said Katrina Spade, founder and executive director of the Urban Death Project, in a statement. "The options we currently have for our bodies are lacking, both from an environmental standpoint, but also, and perhaps more importantly, from a meaning standpoint."
However, trying to move forward will be extremely difficult, as Washington state law would certainly need to change - as there will be significant legal and regulatory road bumps to address. Current Washington state law makes it mandatory to bury or cremate bodies, donate it to science, or transfer it out of the state.