By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2019 4:17 AM CDT
(NEWSER) – Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt. Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains. It allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks, the AP reports. Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated—or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree. State law previously dictated that remains be disposed of by burial or cremation.