Colorado is looking into becoming the second state to completely legalize human composting and as such allow human remains to be composted after the person passes away.
Colorado wants to join Washington state in providing the ability for people to allow their bodies to be composted and turned into soil after they die. The Denver Post reporter that the legislative move has been attempted by lawmakers this past year, but did not get through their session because of the sparking of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislative bill would authorize “human remains to be converted to soil using a container that accelerates the process of biological decomposition, also known as ‘natural reduction.”
Bill SB21-006 would not allow anyone to or even offer to sell said soil, put together the soil of more than one person without the permission of whoever holds the right of final disposition (this does not include soil that has been abandoned) or use the soil to grow any sort of food for human consumption. It would also disallow any human remains of more than one person to be put in a single container without permission from the holder of the right of final disposition.
Democratic State Senator Robert Rodriguez, one of the bill’s main sponsors, stated “It’s an innovative idea in a state that prides itself on natural beauty and opportunities.”
The Denver Post reported that Rodriguez was raised Catholic and that he stated he would not necessarily make the choice himself to be buried in this manner. He stated he believes that Coloradans should be able to make such a decision for themselves. He and the other sponsors of this new bill reported that they have received positive feedback from people who are happy that they have the option.
The Catholic Church of Denver stated that it was against the process last year and that it plans to be against it again, reported FOX 31 in Denver.
The Colorado Catholic Conference issued a statement:
“The Catholic Church teaches that human life and the human body are sacred, and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral society. The conversion of human remains to soil does not promote human dignity. The Church’s objection is based on its belief that man is made in God’s image and likeness as a unified compositum of body and soul. While the Church does allow for cremation with limitations, the reduction of human remains into soil is not consistent with the Church’s theology of bodily resurrection and the promotion of human dignity and dominion over the earth.”
The Colorado bill has been submitted and is currently under consideration for the regular session in 2021.