The Urban Death Project in Seattle wants to build a three-story, polished concrete composting structure called “the core,” where human bodies would be refrigerated on site for up to 10 days.
No embalming would be necessary since decomposition is the goal. Over several weeks a body would turn into about one cubic yard of compost, enough to plant a tree or a patch of flowers.
A 55-year-old artist who wants to be composted said, “The idea of being reduced to dirt and being able to be put under a tree sounds lovely to me.”
Here at the NEC, we’re all in favor of good, enriched dirt. We’re against the soil that has evidence of poison, such as insecticides, plastics, synthetic hormones and other forms of bacterial pollution.
Six local waterways are already classified as “impaired,” and huge amounts of dubious herbicides are dumped every day on croplands. So it’s a huge fight to get good dirt.
Perhaps using dead bodies as soil improvement may be too much for many of you. But the idea of turning into compost rather than lying dead and useless for a long time time in a steel container might not grab you either.
It may take the Urban Death Project months years to push through all the bureaucratic obstacles to human compost. In the meantime, why not join the NEC. It’s only about three bucks a month.