Frequently Asked Questions

It is our mission to make the death care process as straightforward as possible. Below are some of our most common inquiries.

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Death Care Services

Recompose is open to provide human composting and funeral services. Please call (206) 800-8733.

Planning & Services

Choosing our human composting services is possible in most places outside of Washington State. Most clients that come to us from another state work with a funeral home in their area to arrange for transport. This funeral home will pick up a body at the place of death and arrange for transport to Recompose.

When you contact a funeral home, we suggest starting the conversation by saying something like, “I am looking to have my loved one’s body transported to the Seattle area. I have chosen a funeral home called Recompose to handle their death care services. Can you help me make arrangements?”

Families can also transport their person to Recompose in their personal vehicle with the correct permits. If you are interested in this option, please contact us for guidance.

Our Services team is here to support you and can discuss options, find a transporting funeral home, and help arrange for transport. Please contact our staff at (206) 800-8733 or services@recompose.life. Our article, Arranging for Transportation, also has information to help you.

Please note: Bodies that come to Recompose must not be embalmed. While most funeral homes are experienced with transporting bodies, they may not yet have heard of human composting or have experience with this kind of transport.

Recompose does not offer grave markers.

The soil created by human composting can be scattered, buried, or used in gardening. In Washington State, you must have the permission of the landowner. As a way of memorializing their loved one, Recompose clients have used soil to plant groves of trees or to nourish flower gardens tended by their loved one when they were alive. Others have chosen to donate their soil to our conservation partner to be used to nourish and revitalize the land.

Unfortunately, we cannot compost your pet or any other animal. Washington law restricts the use of human disposition equipment to only be used for human remains.

However, for the pet lovers out there, we can add the cremated or aquamated remains of your pet(s) into your soil. We also can combine the cremated or aquamated remains of a person into your soil. This process is commonly referred to as commingling.

The alkalinity of cremains can negatively impact the microbial action needed for the composting process, so the ashes are added after the soil is removed from the vessel and before the curing process. Learn more about the composition of soil after the Recompose process.

Yes, people who have died from COVID-19 can choose human composting. The heat created by the human composting process eliminates the COVID-19 virus.

Please speak with your Services Specialist to see what cultural or religious accommodations may be possible. Contact the Services team at (206) 800-8733 or services@recompose.life.

Human composting is powered by beneficial microbes that occur naturally on our bodies and in the environment.

At the time of laying in, our Services Specialists place the body into a composting vessel surrounded by a mixture of wood chips, alfalfa, and straw carefully calibrated and specially tailored to each body. The body and plant material remain in the vessel for five to seven weeks.

Each body creates about one cubic yard of soil amendment, which is removed from the vessel and allowed to cure for three to five weeks. Once complete, the soil can be used to enrich conservation land, forests, or gardens. The pH range of Recompose compost is usually between 6.5 and 7, which is ideal for most plants. The soil created returns the nutrients from our bodies to the natural world. It restores forests, sequesters carbon, and nourishes new life.

Recompose follows all compost-testing regulations put forth by the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Board of Health.

 

Per Washington state law, each person who comes to Recompose is kept onsite in cold storage until it is time for their ceremony and/or vessel placement. Your person will be shrouded and placed in cold storage upon arriving to Recompose. A name band with a separate, unique Recompose ID tag will be placed with them. This unique Recompose tag stays with them throughout their entire process for identification purposes.

During a ceremony, the body is covered in a soft, natural linen shroud. The shroud is removed by our staff before the body is placed into a composting vessel because the human composting process works best when the plant materials are in direct contact with skin.

It is our policy not to provide whole bones. Contact the Services team at (206) 800-8733 or services@recompose.life if you have questions.

Soil

While each individual body is different, the entire Recompose process typically takes about eight to twelve weeks. Our staff will communicate with families at key points throughout the process and will be in touch when the soil is ready.

No. Due to the variety of regulations involved, Recompose does not ship soil internationally.

Recompose partners with conservation organizations, so you can choose to donate some, or all, of the soil to nourish and revitalize the land. The donated soil supports conservation projects like tree nurseries, erosion repair, and replanting native plants after the removal of invasive species. The nutrients that were once the body return to the earth.

Read our article How to Consider Your Soil Options for more information.

 

 

Pricing

The average cost of conventional death care can vary widely depending on various factors such as the location, specific services chosen, and individual preferences.

Conventional Death Care

According to the 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 viewing and burial was $7,848.

It is important to note that the median burial cost does not include a plot, headstone, or any other cemetery costs associated with a burial. Those additional expenses can often double the cost of a traditional burial. It is also important to note that you can often find a more economical rate for a direct cremation. The best thing to do is ask.

Our Approach

While human composting is innovative and new, Recompose aims to keep our costs comparable to other death care options. Our $7,000 price includes empathetic care and guidance from our Services team from the time of death through transformation into soil eight to twelve weeks later. Learn more about our services here and find a list of current pricing for all services in our General Price List.

We are committed to bringing ecological death care to as many people as possible. This includes providing our services at a subsidized rate to individuals who could not otherwise afford to pay our full price through our Community Fund.

Recompose operates with integrity and clarity and will never try to upsell you. We strive to be straightforward about our pricing and services so you are informed and know what to expect.

Recompose’s price for human composting does not include a ceremony, flowers, newspaper obituaries, clergy honorariums, transportation of the body outside our service area, or additional transport for autopsies.

You can see a full list of additional items we offer in our General Price List. The GPL is a document the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to have available in the interest of protecting consumers.

Our staff can help you order certified copies of the death certificate via your county’s vital records office. This service is included with our cost for human composting, but fees for death certificates vary by county. For example, as of January 2021, King County charges $25 each.

Human Composting

Learn more about the human composting process, its environmental impact, and the soil it creates.

How it Works

Human composting is the transformation of a human body into soil. Recompose places each body into a stainless steel vessel along with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. Microbes that naturally occur on the plant material and on and in our bodies power the transformation into soil.

Over the next five to seven weeks, the body inside the vessel breaks down thanks to the natural action of the microbes. The soil is then removed from the vessel, screened for non-organic items such as hip replacements or stents, and allowed to cure for an additional three to five weeks.

Once the process is complete, the soil can be used on trees and plants, or donated to conservation efforts. Each body creates about one cubic yard of soil.

Watch Recompose Founder and CEO, Katrina Spade, describe how human composting works during her 2023 talk at the End Well Conference.

Explore more

Check out our infographic that shows the steps of the Recompose human composting process.

Bones and teeth do not fully break down in the human composting process due to their mineral composition. Similar to other forms of death care, equipment is needed to reduce the bones.

Microbes do the primary work of human composting. By controlling the ratio of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and moisture, human composting creates the perfect environment for microbes and beneficial bacteria to thrive. To create that environment, Recompose uses a mixture of plant materials carefully calibrated and tailored to each body.

Recompose staff rotate each vessel at several points during the process to ensure thorough aeration and exposure to resources for the microbes.

Bones are reduced to a fine powder by equipment after the soil is removed from the Recompose vessel. Staff also screen for non-organics such as implants, which are recycled whenever possible. The reduced bone is added back to the compost to help balance the compost nutrients and make minerals available to plants. It continues to break down and return to the environment over time.

Recompose follows all compost-testing regulations put forth by the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Board of Health. The pH range of Recompose compost is usually between 6.5 and 7, which is ideal for most plants.

Learn more about the human composting process.

 

human composting soil composition
Sample compost, not created from a human body, that has been through our composting process.

The entire human composting process generally takes between eight to twelve weeks. Our staff will communicate timing and key moments throughout the process. Each body spends about five to seven weeks in a Recompose vessel, then the soil is transferred to an aerated bin to cure for an additional three to five weeks.

Recompose follows all compost-testing regulations put forth by the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Board of Health. The pH range of Recompose compost is usually between 6.5 and 7, which is ideal for most plants.

Watch Recompose Founder and CEO, Katrina Spade, describe timing in the human composting process during her 2023 talk at the End Well Conference.

Explore more

Check out our infographic that shows the steps of the Recompose human composting process.

Human composting eliminates disease pathogens and parasites. The human composting process creates heat over 131 degrees Fahrenheit that is maintained for extended lengths of time. This heat ensures the soil created is safe and free of harmful pathogens. Similarly, that sustained heat inactivates pharmaceuticals and other toxins that might be in the tissues of the body.

Recompose follows all compost-testing regulations put forth by the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Board of Health. This includes testing for salmonella which is an indicator that other pathogens have also been destroyed.

There are three rare diseases that disqualify a body from undergoing human composting: Ebola, prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and active tuberculosis. Monitoring for these diseases is the responsibility of hospitals and medical examiners. For patients who have received radiation seed implants, the radiation seeds must be removed and 30 days pass before the body is eligible for human composting.

During the human composting process, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs are reduced to well below safe levels as they are inactivated by the sustained heat of the process.

Human composting eliminates disease pathogens and parasites. The human composting process creates heat over 131 degrees Fahrenheit that is maintained for extended lengths of time. This heat ensures the soil created is safe and free of harmful pathogens. Similarly, that sustained heat inactivates pharmaceuticals and other toxins that might be in the tissues of the body.

Recompose follows all compost-testing regulations put forth by the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Board of Health. This includes testing for salmonella which is an indicator that other pathogens have also been destroyed.

During the human composting process, staff screen for non-organics like metal fillings, prostheses, and artificial joints. These items are recycled when possible. Like in cremation, pacemakers are removed before human composting occurs.

Yes, you can donate your organs and choose human composting.

Organs will be removed by medical professionals at the time of death. Recompose, or the local funeral home you’re working with in your state, will coordinate transportation back to the funeral home with the organ donation company or medical facility.

Organ donation is different from donating a body to medical science, where the body is embalmed and therefore cannot undergo human composting. Organ donation can only occur if you die in a hospital because they need specific equipment to keep the organs viable until the donation company arrives. Organ donation companies do not embalm bodies, and the organ donation process is typically completed within a couple of days.

Willed body programs, also called full body donation, embalm bodies and typically keep them for 1-2 years in universities and other medical institutions where medical professionals and students study them. Embalmed bodies cannot undergo human composting.

The process of human composting destroys most harmful pathogens. There are three rare diseases that disqualify a body from undergoing human composting: Ebola, prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and active tuberculosis.

Monitoring for these diseases is the responsibility of hospitals and medical examiners. For patients who have received radiation seed implants, the seeds must be removed and 30 days pass before they are eligible for human composting.

Most full body donations to science or medical research are embalmed and so are not eligible for human composting. A person can be an organ donor and still choose human composting.

The soil created by human composting can be mixed with ashes, plants, and other material. In some instances, plants can be placed in the vessel at the start of the human composting process. Our staff can answer questions about specific materials. Learn more about how our human composting process works.

At Recompose, the human composting takes place in a device we call a vessel. It is a steel cylinder, 8 feet long and 4 feet tall. Each vessel rests inside of a hexagonal frame.

Each body is placed into the vessel on a bed of wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. Additional plant material is added as a blanket to cocoon the body within the vessel. The temperature inside the vessel rises over time as the microbes work, and is sustained over 131 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 3 continuous days.

Over the next five to seven weeks, the body breaks down thanks to the natural action of aerobic microbes. Recompose staff monitor the temperature inside the vessel to determine when a rotation is needed to increase oxygenation and expose additional energy to the microbes. Once the microbes have finished their work, the soil is removed from the vessel and placed into a curing bin, where it is aerated for three to five weeks.

Below is a photo of a Recompose vessel and cradle.

picture of human composting vessel and cradle

Human composting is also called natural organic reduction, soil transformation, recomposting, recomposition, or terramation.

Environmental Impact

Human composting is a more environmentally-friendly option than burial or cremation. This is because the process does not use fossil fuel like cremation, does not require the casket and cemetery resources of burial, and sequesters carbon as soil is created. As the nutrients in the compost are used over time by the plants in contact with it, the impact of a person’s choice for human composting continues to expand exponentially.

To measure the environmental impact of human composting, expert Dr. Troy Hottle developed a scientific model to compare cremation, conventional burial, green burial, and human composting. The model showed that human composting and green burial perform far better than cremation or conventional burial at reducing carbon. The research showed that between .84 and 1.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be saved each time someone chooses human composting.

Human composting saves carbon through a combination of factors. The process uses 87% less energy than cremation, which typically uses fossil fuel to create sustained heat of over 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 4 hours.

No casket or coffin is used during human composting, nor is a concrete grave liner required – all items that add to the carbon footprint of a death.

When human composting transforms the organic material of our bodies, the carbon is captured, or sequestered, in the soil created. Rather than being released as carbon dioxide gas through exhaust during a cremation or as a hydrocarbon gas like methane, the carbon contained in each body returns to the earth. As the nutrients in the compost are used over time by the plants in contact with it, the impact of a person’s choice for human composting continues to expand exponentially.

Cremation uses fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and about 1.6 million people are cremated in the United States each year. Human composting is a greener option cremation because it saves one metric ton of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere for every person who chooses it.

Each person who chooses human composting prevents the emissions equivalent of over 40 propane tanks. Conventional burial also creates emissions from the manufacture and transport of headstones, caskets, and grave liners, and requires ongoing upkeep of cemeteries.

Human composting takes place in a closed, reusable vessel while green burial refers to the practice of burying an unembalmed body in a designated green burial cemetery with a simple casket or shroud. Both human composting and green burial encourage natural decomposition.

Human composting is not a type of burial because the body is not placed in the ground. Human composting creates an environment in which beneficial microbes thrive, with a specific moisture content and ratio of carbon and nitrogen materials. The molecular processes power human composting are the same processes that break down a body during green burial. However, these processes typically take much longer in a green burial context. This is partly because not as much oxygen reaches a body that has been buried underground.

Conceptually, both green burial and natural organic reduction return a body to the earth. Both processes are part of a worldwide movement to make death care practices less harmful—and ideally beneficial—to the planet.

Like human composting, alkaline hydrolysis—also called water cremation, resomation, or aquamation—is a process for transforming a body after death. Alkaline hydrolysis takes place in a pressurized vessel filled with water and potassium hydroxide, which transforms the body into a sand-like material.

In contrast, human composting takes place in a closed, reusable vessel. Human composting creates an environment in which beneficial microbes thrive, with a specific moisture content and ratio of carbon and nitrogen materials.

Alkaline hydrolysis has some of the same environmental benefits as human composting. Both processes are part of a worldwide movement to make death care practices less harmful—and ideally beneficial—to the planet.

Soil Information

The Recompose human composting process creates approximately one cubic yard of soil per body which is roughly 3 x 3 x 3 feet. This amount fills the bed of most pickup trucks and weighs approximately from 500 pounds to over 1,000 pounds. The process begins with three cubic yards of plant material.

Families can take some or all of the soil home once the process is complete, and donate what does not go home to conservation efforts. Learn more about how to consider your soil options.

The Recompose process creates approximately one cubic yard of soil—approximately 500 pounds to over 1,000 pounds. Soil tests indicate compost created by the Recompose process is appropriate for established shrubs, trees, house plants, and flower gardens; use on tender annuals should be avoided.

Analysis indicates compost that is good for use on plants. The pH range of Recompose compost is usually between 6.5 and 7, which is ideal for most plants. Electrical conductivity is moderate, indicating the presence of soluble (plant-available) ions. The nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium-sulfur content is balanced, providing good nutrient content with a good supply of macronutrients.

Respiration test results indicate Recompose compost is at “Very Stable” levels, indicating that most of the “fast pool” of sugars have been used up by microbes and nutrients are stabilized. Nitrate content is high, indicating aerobic status and advanced decomposition. Bioassay does show relative immaturity, so we recommend use as a mulch and at lower concentration around roots of young plants.

Recompose follows all compost-testing regulations put forth by the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Board of Health.

Human composting creates approximately one cubic yard of soil per body that weighs from 500 pounds to over 1,000 pounds. Recompose offers clients the option to pick up the soil, donate the soil through the Recompose Land Program, or a combination of both.

Through the Land Program, Recompose partners with nonprofit conservation organizations to protect and regenerate ecosystems through conservation, rewilding, and other restoration practices. These Land Partners receive soil donated from Recompose clients to use in projects that benefit the land they steward.

Recompose and our Land Partners share a common interest in connecting the human experience with the natural environment, and recognize the use of soil from human composting as a way to strengthen this connection.

The soil created by human composting is biologically valuable material that can be used to nourish trees and plants. It can be used in yards, flower gardens, trees, house plants, and in natural environments. Its pH of 6.5 – 7 is ideal for most plants. It has a balanced nutrient content with a good supply of macronutrients.

Recompose customers have used their person’s soil to create groves of trees, nourish rose gardens tended by their person while they were alive, or scattered in a favorite natural area.

In Washington State, the law for scattering human composting soil is the same for cremated remains—you must have permission of the landowner. It is legal to scatter in navigable waterways.

If you have any questions about what you can do with your person’s soil, our staff is here to help.

Legal Process

In the United States, human composting is legal in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, California, New York, Nevada, Arizona, Maryland, Delaware, and Minnesota. We are partnering with lawmakers to legalize human composting in more states and, eventually, around the world. See a full list of states working on legislation here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the legislative process and getting involved, visit our legislative advocacy page with information, further learning, talking points, and more.

Curious how human composting becomes law? While each state is different, we wrote an article about what it takes to legalize human composting.

Recompose’s mission is to bring human composting everywhere there are people who want it. We’ll announce all future expansions via our newsletter.

In the U.S., the laws governing human remains vary greatly from state to state, as does the process for passing new laws. Because of this, we don’t have an easy template for how to pass human composting laws in new states but we’ve created an article about how human composting becomes law to give you a sense of what goes into the process.

Talking to friends and family about your end-of-life wishes and why Recompose and human composting is meaningful for you is a great way to start building interest and demand in your area. We’ve pulled together a number of resources and talking points for those interested in learning more on our Legislative Advocacy page.

Precompose

Information about planning ahead to choose human composting for your future death care.

Planning

If you expect a death soon, please call us at (206) 800-8733. Precompose is designed primarily for planning in advance when a death is not expected for many years.

No, funeral services are not included in the price of Precompose. We offer a variety of in-person and virtual ceremonies and services for an additional cost. Please see our General Price List or Custom Ceremonies and Offerings Catalog for more information and pricing.

Yes, you can donate your organs and choose human composting.

Organ donation is only possible if someone dies in a hospital because they need specific equipment to keep the organs viable until the donation company arrives. Medical professionals remove organs within a few days after someone dies.

Our Services team will coordinate transportation to Recompose with the hospital. If you live outside of Washington State, the local funeral home you’re working with will coordinate with the hospital.

Alternatively, full body donation to medical schools and research projects usually embalm bodies to extend the time during which they can be studied. Bodies that are embalmed cannot undergo human composting. Some programs freeze the donor for non-embalmed use. So we encourage you to contact the donation program to understand their process and whether it is possible to to donate you full body without embalming.

In most instances, full body donation and human composting are not compatible. Bodies donated to medical schools and research projects are usually embalmed to extend the time during which they can be used. Bodies that are embalmed cannot undergo human composting.

A person can be an organ donor and still choose human composting.

If you change your mind in the first 30 days of joining Precompose, you will receive a 100% refund. If you would like to cancel your plan after that, you will receive a 90% refund of the money you’ve paid into Precompose. The remaining 10% is kept by Recompose for our operating costs.

Yes, our staff can help you sign up via phone or by mail. You can call (206) 800-8733 or email us at precompose@recompose.life to schedule time to sign up via phone or request a mailed Precompose packet.

If you decide to sign up online, you can do so here.

After completing your contract and initiating payment for your Precompose plan, the next step to ensure things go smoothly after you die is to document your death care plan. Find more information and a full list of Precompose forms here. Once you complete your forms, make sure your designated agent has a copy of them or knows where to find them.

Not yet a Precompose member?

No. Due to the variety of regulations involved, Recompose does not ship soil internationally.

Transportation & Service Area

You can choose Recompose for human composting from most states. You can contact our staff at (206) 800-8733 or precompose@recompose.life and we can help you arrange for transport.

Most clients that come to us from another state work with a funeral home in their area to arrange for transport. This funeral home will pick up a body at the place of death and arrange for transport to Recompose. When you contact a funeral home, we suggest starting the conversation by saying something like, “I am looking to have my body transported to the Seattle area. I have chosen a funeral home called Recompose to handle my death care services. Can you help me make arrangements?”

In most instances, families can also transport their person to Recompose in their personal vehicle with the correct permits. If you are interested in this option, please contact us and we’re happy to help.

Please note: Bodies that come to Recompose must not be embalmed. While most funeral homes are experienced with transporting bodies, they may not yet have heard of human composting or have experience with this kind of transport. If you have any questions or need help finding a transporting funeral home, Recompose staff can help you.

Our article, How to Arrange for Transport to Recompose, also has information to help you.

The cost varies by funeral home and region. For example, transport from California to Seattle starts at about $3,000. For a lower cost option, you can also ask your friends and family to transport your body themselves. If you’re interested in learning how transporting a body yourself works, please contact us at precompose@recompose.life.

You can read full details on transport options in our article on How to Arrange for Transport to Recompose. You will also be able to transfer your Precompose membership to future Recompose locations.

While the price for Recompose services will not increase for you as long as you pay consistently towards your balance, the price for transport outside our service area will increase over time to accommodate increases in gas and labor costs. For this reason, while we allow a prepayment for transportation, we do not lock in the price for transportation.

If you live outside our service area, we recommend setting aside the current transport price plus an additional buffer for potential future increases. Please contact our team if you would like to prepay your transportation costs. Recompose will bill your estate for the then-current transport price after your body has been transported to Recompose. You can see the current transport pricing in our General Price List.

Death Care Plan Forms & Legal Documents

You should automatically receive an email containing completed copies of your documents. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at precompose@recompose.life.

You can change information on any Precompose form by submitting a new version of the form. We will consider your most recent version of the form to be your most up-to-date information. You can access all forms here.

Our system, Zoho, sends email reminders for any documents it considers “not completed.” Sometimes, if you click through to complete the document then click away, the Zoho system will create two different documents. This means that even if you completed a document once, Zoho may have created a few extra versions of the document and that’s what it’s sending you reminders about.

If you are getting document reminders in error, send us a note at precompose@recompose.life and our staff will delete the incomplete versions. You will get a “recall” email notification for the deleted incomplete documents.

Recompose uses the phrase “friends and family” to refer to the people who matter to you. Chosen friends and family can include non-biological kinship bonds, whether legally recognized or not.

Your “agent” is the person who is legally allowed to make decisions for your death care. They do not have to be a blood relation. If you do not designate an agent, the position of agent will automatically go to your legal next-of-kin. This is usually a spouse or registered domestic partner, a child or children, a parent or parents, or sibling or siblings, in that order. You can learn more in the How to Designate an Agent article.

Within Washington State: At the time of your death, your loved ones can call us at (206) 800-8733 and we will arrange to take your body into our care.

Outside Washington state: At the time of your death, your loved ones should contact the local funeral home you have chosen to send your body to Recompose. The chosen local funeral home will then contact Recompose to coordinate the arrival of your body to our facility. After your body arrives at Recompose, we will contact your designated agent or next-of-kin to continue arrangements.

You will need to update the Transport Form, Disposition Authorization, and Vital Statistics forms that you have on file with us.

If you are moving from within our service area to outside our service area (see our General Price List about our service area), you will need to do additional planning with a local funeral home to  help coordinate shipping your body to the nearest Recompose location. The local funeral home you choose will have their own costs for this service.

You can instead choose to cancel your Precompose membership if you do not wish to plan with a local funeral home in your new state.

Legal & Pricing

When you sign up for Precompose, we guarantee the cost of your Recompose services at the time of your purchase as long as you make payments consistently before your death, even if the price has since gone up.

The Recompose price includes transport from within King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. We also offer transport to our location from counties within Washington State for the fees listed on our current General Price List (GPL). Please note that the prices for transport from outside this range will increase over time to accommodate for increasing labor and gas prices.

While you can provide payment for someone, they need to sign their own documents or you need to have a very specific Power of Attorney document saying that you can sign the documents for them.

Several different types of funeral prepayment plans exist that can vary in structure and benefits. While funeral homes often use insurance products for their prearrangement plans, Recompose uses a funeral trust protected by law.

As you pay towards your future death care, Recompose realizes 10% of the money as revenue. The rest is held in a trust account that cannot be used until after your death. This money is invested in low-risk investments and cannot ever be used for Recompose’s operations. The Recompose trust, like any funerary trust in Washington, is heavily regulated to ensure your investment is safe, and Washington State receives yearly reports on the holdings and any accruals.

Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable, with irrevocable trusts often used to help individuals qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Yes, you can cancel your plan at any time. If you cancel within 30 days of joining, you will receive a 100% refund. After 30 days, you will receive a 90% refund of the money you’ve paid into Precompose. The remaining 10% is kept by Recompose for our operating costs. Please contact Precompose at precompose@recompose.life or (206) 800-8733.

If Recompose is not available at the time of your death, you or your designated agent will receive a refund of the amount in trust on your behalf (the 90% principal plus any accruals earned while in trust) either at the time of death or at the time of Recompose’s closing. The remaining 10% is retained for operational costs.

As you pay towards your future death care, Recompose realizes 10% of the money as revenue. The rest is held in a trust account that cannot be used until after your death. This money is invested in low-risk investments and can’t be used by Recompose until services are provided. Interest accrued on these investments is retained by Recompose to make up for inflation and any future rise in pricing for our services.

Member Support & Billing

Yes, our team is happy to answer questions over the phone. Our phone number is (206) 800-8733. Our office hours are 10am to 4pm PT on weekdays. Please note we have a small team, so you may need to leave a message and we will call you back within 2-3 business days.

We’re so sorry to hear you are having tech issues. We are working constantly to improve your experience. Thank you for your patience as we make improvements. You can email us at precompose@recompose.life regarding your tech issue and we will work to resolve it. We find that our system works best on a desktop or laptop device rather than a tablet or phone. On weekdays, you can also give us a call at (206) 800-8733.

You have two options for changing your credit card information:

  • You can call us at (206) 800-8733 and we will change it for you
  • You’ll receive a link to update your card if it has been declined

There is no fee for late payments due to card changes or any other payment changes.

Your Precompose membership will remain valid wherever you move but your transportation cost to Recompose may be affected, depending on where you move.

Please email precompose@recompose.life with your new address.

If you are moving from a state with a Recompose facility to a state without a Recompose facility
You will also need to submit a new Transport Form. You will also need to do additional planning with a local funeral home who will help coordinate shipping your body to the closest Recompose facility. The local funeral home you choose will have their own costs for this service. If you do not wish to plan with a local funeral home in your new state, you can choose to cancel your Precompose membership.

If you need help or have any questions, please contact the Precompose team at precompose@recompose.life or (206) 800-TREE.

Yes. If you prefer to pay by check, full payment is required. Please mail your check to: Recompose, 4 S. Idaho Street, Seattle, WA 98134. Please contact Precompose at precompose@recompose.life or (206) 800-8733 if you have questions about how to pay by check.

Yes. At this time, the minimum additional payment is $500. If you need to change your payment level, you may do so as often as every six months. You may also pay off the rest of your balance in a one-time payment. Please contact us at precompose@recompose.life or (206) 800-8733.

Recompose

Common questions about our company and approach.

Our Facilities

Recompose is located in Seattle, Washington. Our Seattle location offers a space for friends and family to gather and contains the vessels where bodies are transformed into soil. We offer virtual ceremonies for those who are not able to join us here in Seattle.

About a third of clients come to us from out of state. If you live outside the Recompose service area, our team is available to answer transportation questions and help with logistics. Learn more about our services.

Yes. We offer both virtual tours and in-person guided, small group tours led by Recompose staff. Learn more and sign up for a tour.

See photos and learn more about our Seattle location.

Yes, Recompose is a licensed funeral home. Our staff includes licensed funeral directors and we provide transport, ceremonies, and funeral arrangements as well as human composting.

Our Seattle location is located at 4 S. Idaho Street in SODO’s Industrial District. We are open by appointment only.  Get directions to Recompose.

If you are interested in touring Recompose, we offer guided, small group in-person tours led by Recompose staff or virtual tours online. Sign up for a tour here.

See photos and learn more about our Seattle location.

Our Company

Thank you for your interest in supporting Recompose. Unfortunately, because Recompose is subject to employment laws, we are not eligible to take on volunteers or unpaid interns. We are grateful for your offer and are sorry to have to decline. There are a lot of great organizations doing similar work who can take volunteers, we suggest seeking out advocacy groups around ecological death care or hospice volunteer programs in your area. You can also check out our Jobs page or sign up for our newsletter to hear about potential future paid positions.

Thank you for your interest in Recompose. We have a small team and very limited availability for interviews. You are welcome to use the information on this website for your article with proper citation. If you can’t find the information you need or need images for your article, you can email media@recompose.life. Please note we do not participate in student, documentary, television, or film projects at this time.

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About Recompose

Recompose is a licensed, full-service, green funeral home in Seattle offering human composting. As the first human composting company in the world, we are a trusted leader in ecological death care. We are Seattle’s only human composting provider and serve clients across the U.S.

Recompose Seattle
4 S. Idaho St, Seattle, WA 98134
Open by appointment

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Voted Best Funeral Home in Seattle Times’ Best in the PNW Contest 2023

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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.