Colorado Could Become 2nd State to Legalize Composting Human Remains

Flags fly at half-staff over the Colorado State Capitol on March 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed in a shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado on Monday.
Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

If the governor signs the bill into law, Colorado would be the second state to legalize the composting of human remains.

Colorado could become the second state in the U.S. to legalize composting human remains. Both chambers of the Colorado legislature passed the bill which will give Coloradans an after-life alternative to the traditional burial and cremation options, the Hill reported.

The legislation was first introduced last year but the pandemic stalled any progress on the bill. Under the new law, it would be illegal to sell the soil made from human compost or to use it to grow food. It would be legal to place the soil on public lands, the New York Times reported.

Washington passed a law in 2019 and legislators in Oregon, California and New York have proposed similar legislation.

It takes about 30 days for a human body to compost, Matt Soper, a Republican supporting the bill, told the Times.

Soper said there are “farmers or ranchers who really like the idea of being connected to the land that they were born and raised on.”

Recompose, an ecological death care company that offered human composting services in Washington is already looking at locations in the Denver area, the co-founder told the Times.

The legislation was passed 45-18 on Tuesday after passing through the Senate in March. Now lawmakers are waiting for Gov. Jared Polis to sign the bill into law.

The bill received 18 votes against it in the House, all from Republicans. They argued that composting was not a "dignified" way to handle human remains and some even cited the Catholic Church's opposition, the Times reported.

“Why not?” Soper told the outlet. “Why should the government be prohibiting this type of option to be available to Coloradans?”

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