Jan 02, 2023
By Jeremy Logan
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation that will make her state the sixth in the United States to permit human composting as a method of burial.
Hochul signed the bill into law on Saturday.
Natural organic reduction, also known as human composting, is now legal in Washington state, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and California.
The process, which happens in special above-ground facilities, involves a body being put in a closed vessel along with materials such as alfalfa, woodchips and straw grass, and gradually breaks down under the action of microbes.
Following a period of about a month – and a heating process to kill off any contagion – loved ones are given the resulting soil, which can be used in planting flowers, vegetables or trees.
Howard Fischer, a New York investor, is one supporter who sees human composting as an environmentally friendly way to return his remains to the earth as fresh, fertile soil after he dies.
The burial method is deemed “inappropriate” for humans by critics such as the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s bishops.