Frequently Asked Questions

It is our mission to make the death care process as straightforward and as gentle as possible.

What happens to bones and teeth during human composting?

The human composting process breaks down bones and teeth through a combination of microbial and mechanical means.

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. These microbes are assisted by mechanical steps to help complete the transformation into soil. Recompose staff rotate each Recompose vessel at several points during the process to ensure thorough aeration and decomposition, which helps to break up any remaining bone fragments and teeth. Recompose staff also screen for non-organics such as implants, which are recycled whenever possible. At the end of the composting process, fragments remaining that are larger than one centimeter are processed using the same equipment that is used to process bone in conventional cremation.

Soil is tested for safety and screened before it is returned to families or the environment. The final soil may include small bone fragments, which are safe and will continue to break down and return to the environment over time.

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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.