Dead man turned into soil at world’s first ‘human composting’ facility

While most people opt for a burial or cremation, Amigo Bob decided to have his remains transformed into soil, with his family and friends all being offered a "little piece of him" after he died.

Bob, who was a pioneer in organic farming, endured an eight-year battle with cancer and told his wife Jenifer Bliss that he would like to be composted once he passed away.

Jenifer, 57, contacted Washington-based Recompose, which is the first company in the world to offer the unusual send-off when it opened in December 2020.

Speaking about the moment she collected Amigo Bob's soil, she said: "When we picked up his compost, and I touched the soil that remained of him, a profound sense of peace came over me.

"It had been three months since he died, I missed him very much, and touching the soil that had been his earthly body made me feel like everything was okay."

Jenifer, who was with Bob for 15-years, said composting seemed like the best option due to her husband campaigning for compost to be an eco-friendly alternative to chemical fertilisers, reports The Sun.

"Bob was a fierce advocate for the Earth and wanted to leave the least impact when he passed," Jenifer said.

"He was passionate about what he believed in and knew he would be leading the way for other people interested in human composting."

Recompose, which has a facility in Kent, described the "recomposition" process and said they have worked with 100 families altogether.

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The process works by bodies being put inside 10ft-long steel tubes, while being covered with wood chips and then being decomposed and turned into a cubic yard of soil.

It can take as little as four weeks, before the compost is handed back to the family to choose what they would like to do with the remains.

"We've seen about half of families do want to take home all of the soil," Anna Swenson, Recompose's Outreach Manager said.

"Scientifically speaking, it is compost and can be used like any compost you'd buy at a store."

Any leftover soil, is then donated to a conservation partner where it supports restoration work at the Bells Mountain forest in Washington.

Recompose says the process costs $7,000 [£5,363.71] and is reported to save around a metric ton of CO2 per person.

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Jenifer said she drove a trailer's worth of her husband's soil from Washington back to their farm near Nevada City after he died in December 2020.

"Because my husband had so many fans and followers in the organic farming movement I decided to go and get the whole thing," she said.

"A lot of people got a little piece of him."

The remaining soil was placed around a cluster of apple trees at the couple's property.

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