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Green Burial: Bill Would Legalize Turning Human Remains Into Soil In Colorado

Lawmakers To Push For Human Composting As Green Alternative To Cremation & Burials by CBS Colorado on YouTube

DENVER (CBS4) - A bill being proposed by two Colorado lawmakers would legalize green burials -- which turns human remains into soil that can be returned to family members. It is also referred to as Natural Organic Reduction. The process takes about a month and generates a cubic yard of material per person.

Pile heap soil humus
(credit: iStock/Getty Images)

"For most Coloradans, there are two main choices after death: burial or cremation. Representative Brianna Titone and Senator Robert Rodriguez are planning to bring a bill to the General Assembly that would give Coloradans another legal option: they can have their bodies turned into soil," officials stated.

"The novel approach, known as 'Natural Organic Reduction' involves placing bodies in individual vessels and gently decomposing them into a nutrient-dense soil that can then be returned to families," officials explained. "The result is a completely safe and economical method of final disposition that offers additional choice for people to direct their final wishes."

"The process is proven to be more environmentally sound than burial, which can leach chemicals into the ground, or cremation, which uses fossil fuels and releases earth-warming carbon dioxide," officials stated.

Supporters say the bill will allow Coloradans to choose an economical and sustainable method of final disposition.

At a news conference on Monday, Katrina Spade, Founder and CEO of Recompose, showed a bag of soil that she explained "used to be a cow."

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Katrina Spade (credit: CBS)

Spade said services would be available starting in 2021.

So far, the only state that has legalized this method is Washington.

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