Death Care

Do you need immediate assistance? Call us 24 hours a day at (206) 800-8733.

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Our Services

Recompose is a licensed green funeral home offering human composting to transform your loved one's body into soil.
white flowers, green leaves and tree bark

We Can Help

We work closely with you and your people to ensure respectful, empathetic service from the time of death through the body’s transformation into soil. We are here for you. Whether a death has already occurred or is imminent, please contact us anytime at (206) 800-8733.

At the Time of Death

After a death has occurred, take the time you need with your loved one’s body. When you are ready, our staff will help you understand your options, answer questions and, at your convenience, take your person’s body into our care.

Our Process

From the ceremony to celebrate your person to using your loved one's soil to nurture growth, we aim to make death care healing and nourishing.
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Laying-In Ceremony

We offer a laying-in ceremony, or a green funeral, that allows you the opportunity to honor your loved one with care and respect. Much like the moment when a body is interred into the earth during a burial, the laying-in represents a moment of transition. Our experienced Services team can help you plan your person’s laying-in every step of the way.

Soil Transformation

Your loved one’s body will be surrounded by wood chips, alfalfa, and straw in a vessel where microbes will naturally break the body down. The entire process, from placing your person into the vessel to finished soil, takes between six to eight weeks.

Giving Back

Once complete, similar to ashes from a cremation, the soil can be used however you choose—to enrich a garden, plant a tree, or spread across multiple locations. If you prefer not to keep all, or any, of the soil, we will donate it to Bells Mountain, 700 acres of conserved land in southern Washington.

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.

Our Price: $7,000

This price includes:

We offer hands-on support throughout the death care journey. Our licensed funeral directors have decades of experience providing compassionate care and creating meaningful experiences.

For Washington counties outside of King, Pierce, and Snohomish, transport costs are based on proximity to Recompose. Current pricing is listed by county. See our transportation pricing list.

We 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.

The death certificate is a mandatory legal document that registers each death with the appropriate local authorities. Recompose’s funeral directors will handle the filing of the death certificate for you.

If you need a certified copy of the death certificate for a bank or insurance claim, our staff can help you order as many as you need. In most cases, we can assist you in ordering copies from your local vital records office and have them mailed directly to you. Fees for each death certificate vary by county. For example, as of January 2021, King County charges $25 each.

You may choose to have an obituary published on our website and include multiple pictures in a photo gallery. The obituary can include links for guests to make a donation in honor of your loved one. Our staff is available to guide you in writing your tribute.

The process begins during the laying-in ceremony 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.

Our staff will communicate with you at pivotal moments throughout your person’s transformation into soil. We will keep you updated on when the soil has finished key stages of the process, and work with you to schedule pickup or shipment of finished soil once the process is complete.

Once complete, this nutrient-rich soil can be used to enrich garden beds, planted with a tree, divided across multiple locations, or however you please.

Each body that completes the Recompose process creates one cubic yard of nutrient-rich compost. The soil will be ready six to eight weeks after your loved one is placed into a vessel.

You will receive one 64-oz container of your loved one’s soil at the end of transformation. You may purchase additional soil containers that can be picked up at Recompose or shipped within the continental United States.

The full cubic yard of soil fills a pickup truck bed or small trailer. You have the option to keep or donate the rest of your loved one’s soil, or a combination of both.

  • Donate your loved one’s soil
    You have the option to donate your loved one’s soil to Bells Mountain, 700 acres of permanently protected land in southern Washington. This natural wilderness is managed by our conservation partner, Remember Land, a land trust and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our staff facilitates the delivery and meaningful use of the soil with gratitude and respect.Recompose is the only green funeral home that offers the opportunity for your soil to contribute to ecological repair efforts after death. The soil donated by Recompose customers supports the continued revitalization of wetlands, riparian habitats, native plants, and vulnerable wildlife species.

 

  • Pick up the soil at Recompose
    We are happy to facilitate pickup of the entire volume of soil. Soil can be used on decorative trees and plants, and can be placed anywhere you have permission of the landowner.Our staff can arrange a time for you to come to our location with a truck or trailer. We strive to ensure every soil pickup is a beautiful and meaningful experience. Customers have shared that picking up this soil made them feel moved, at peace, and like they were taking their person home.

Additional Options

The following options can be added for an additional cost.

The laying-in ceremony is similar to a graveside service or a funeral and allows you the opportunity to honor your loved one with care and respect. It offers friends and family members an opportunity to participate in sending their person on to the next stage of transformation.

Ceremonies take place in the Gathering Space, a small room designed for an intimate experience. The ceremony can accommodate up to 15 guests and includes the use of the Gathering Space, the Moss room—for those who need a private space during the ceremony, the Pebble room, a kitchenette where light refreshments can be served, and support from Recompose.

Our Services team will help coordinate a ceremony for online and in-person guests to be in community together.

  • Capacity: 15 people in person, 1,000 for live stream on Zoom
  • Scheduling: Weekdays at 10am or 2pm
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Price: $350 for first hour, limited additional hours may be available for $100/hour

Recompose encourages community-led death care. To facilitate this, we offer the use of our Cedar Room, a private space for those who wish to perform hands-on care for their person. For example, in the Cedar Room you can:

  • Fulfill religious/spiritual needs for ritual bathing
  • Have a time of prayer, song or vigil over your person
  • Shroud your person
  • Anoint your person
  • Have a religious or community leader perform rites
  • Style your person’s hair, paint their nails or apply their makeup

The use of this room includes one of our licensed Services Specialists who can help you perform this care or wait nearby if you prefer privacy.

Recompose provides a limited range of tools such as towels, shampoos and soaps, essential oils, camphor, a stereo system, hair brushes and linens. Clients will need to provide items such as cosmetics, perfumes, custom shrouds, or other special items they wish to incorporate.

Please note that special items you place with your person (including clothing and shrouds) will be removed before they enter their vessel.

  • Capacity: 5 people
  • Availability: Weekdays, by appointment
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Price: $350 for first hour, limited additional hours may be available for $100/hour

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 ten 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, Remember Land, where the soil will be used for 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

We strive to keep the price for human composting comparable to other death care options. According to the 2021 National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral with cremation in 2021 in the United States was $6,970 and the median cost of a funeral with burial was $7,848. The price of human composting at Recompose 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 here. A current list of pricing for all Recompose produce and services is available in our General Price List.

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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.