Death Care

Recompose is open to provide at‑need death care. Please call (206) 800‑8733.  

carefully knolled array of leaves, flower buds, branches, stones and dirt

Choosing Recompose

We work directly with you and the people in your life to ensure respectful, empathetic service from the time of death through the body’s transformation into soil.

white flowers, green leaves and tree bark

At the Time of Death

After a death has occurred, it is okay to take a minute to spend time with your person’s body. When you are ready, our staff will help you understand your options and, at your convenience, take your person’s body into our care.

You can read complete details of the process in this article: What To Do When Your Person Dies. Recompose encourages participatory death care and is happy to help support home funerals.

What We Offer

The Recompose service price is $5,500. This includes the transformation of your person’s body into soil, the option to participate in a streamed laying-in facilitated by our staff, the filing of the death certificate, and full support throughout the death care journey.

Please see the Pricing section below for full details.

Pricing

Recompose strives to be straightforward and transparent about our pricing. It is our goal that you will never receive a bill you were not expecting or do not understand.

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Our Price

The Recompose service is $5,500. This includes:

  • The transformation into soil via natural organic reduction
  • Hands-on, personalized help from our services team
  • Transport of the body to our location from within King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. Other counties are available for an additional fee. Our current transport fees are listed in our General Price List.
  • The laying-in, our practice of placing a body into a vessel, which friends and family are welcome to join via streaming video
  • The option to:
    • Donate the soil created to the Bells Mountain conservation forest (with one 64-ounce container of soil mailed to the person of your choice)
    • Pick up soil at our Kent location
    • or a combination of the two
  • The filing of the death certificate
  • An obituary posted on our website

More Details

The Greenhouse

Recompose’s first facility, the Greenhouse, is located south of Seattle. This licensed facility is where the transformation into soil takes place. While we can’t offer tours at this time, we’re proud to share photos and information about the space here.

At the Greenhouse, each body’s transformation from human to soil happens inside of a Recompose vessel. This takes 30 days. The facility houses 10 Recompose vessels, which are constantly monitored. After 30 days, our staff moves the soil into a finishing container, where it cures for 2-4 weeks.

The Laying-In

Recompose calls the practice of placing a body into a vessel the “laying‑in.” We invite the friends and family of each person who has died to be present at this event, if they choose – virtually at this time, and eventually in person once gatherings are safe. For families who choose to join, our staff facilitate the streaming video the laying-in via Zoom.

Laying-In ceremonies may be scheduled to begin at any time between 10am and 1pm PT on Wednesdays or Fridays and can be expected to last around 15-20 minutes. Families and guests are welcome to stay in the Zoom afterwards to share memories and be in community with each other. Participation is optional. You can read full details in this article.

Obituary 

We also offer the opportunity for a personal tribute to be featured on our website. Our staff can guide you in writing a tribute to your person, including photos and a link to donate to the charity or aid cause of their choice.

Transport

Recompose can provide transport to our location from anywhere within Washington State. Transport from within King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties is included in our $5,500 price at no additional charge, and transport from other counties is priced based on proximity to our location. Current transport pricing as of November 1, 2021 is listed by county in our General Price List (GPL). Prices include:

  • Skagit County: $350
  • Spokane County: $1,000
  • Clark County: $650
  • Thurston County: $300

We can also accept bodies from outside of Washington State. In this case you will need to arrange for transport separately, most likely by working with a funeral home in your area. Our staff is happy to facilitate this process. You can see learn more about transport options in this article.

FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

FEMA provides financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) up to $9,000 per funeral. You can read full information here on FEMA’s website. You may be eligible for these benefits if you are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and the funeral expenses you paid were for an individual whose death in the United States may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.

Recompose is a licensed funeral home and our services qualify for FEMA benefits. Our services team can assist you in compiling the information you will need to apply.

Obituaries

Read below to learn about some of the people Recompose is honored to have transformed into soil.

FAQ

Learn more below about the Recompose approach and process.

Planning

Human composting, also known as natural organic reduction (NOR), is powered by beneficial microbes that occur naturally on our bodies and in the environment. The process begins when our staff lay your loved one's body in a cradle surrounded by wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. The cradle is placed into a Recompose vessel and covered with more plant material. The body and plant material remain in the vessel for 30 days. Microbes break everything down on the molecular level, resulting in the formation of a nutrient‑dense soil. Each body creates one cubic yard of soil amendment, which is removed from the vessel and allowed to cure for two to four weeks. Once complete, the soil can be used to enrich conservation land, forests, or gardens. The soil created returns the nutrients from our bodies to the natural world. It restores forests, sequesters carbon, and nourishes new life.
Your person's soil will be ready for pickup between six and eight weeks from when the human composting process begins. Our staff will communicate with families throughout the process regarding when the soil is ready.
The soil created by human composting can be scattered or buried at the location of your choice. In Washington State, you must have the permission of the landowner. Families who choose Recompose have used soil to plant groves of trees or to nourish flower gardens tended by their loved one when they were alive. After the human composting process is complete, families can take home some or all of the entire one cubic yard of soil created (about the volume of a pickup truck bed). Families also have the option to donate soil to Recompose's conservation partner, where the soil will be used on eco restoration efforts at the Bells Mountain forest. In order to preserve the undeveloped integrity of the forest, Bells Mountain does not allow grave markers at this time.
Our staff can help you order certified copies of the death certificate via your county’s vital records office at no additional charge. Fees for death certificates vary by county. For example, as of January 2021, King County charges $25 each.

Pricing

The price of human composting at Recompose is $5,500. This includes the transformation into soil, the opportunity to keep or donate soil, and a virtual ceremony. You can find full information about what is included in our Pricing section. The costs of death care vary widely by region and provider. According to the National Funeral Directors Alliance, in 2019 the median cost of a funeral and cremation was $5,150 in the United States. For burial, the median cost was $9,135. For more information on financial decisions around the end of life, People’s Memorial Association is a great resource.

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Land Acknowledgement

Recompose acknowledges we make our lives and livelihoods on the lands of the Coast Salish People, specifically the Duwamish People. We honor with gratitude the Duwamish People past and present, the land itself, and the Duwamish Tribe.

Colonization is an active, persistent process. Indigenous communities continue to be resilient in protecting their ecological and cultural lifeways and deathways despite ongoing oppression. Recompose respects, shares, and supports this commitment to climate healing and environmental justice. Join Recompose in contributing to Real Rent Duwamish.