PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed a bill passed by Oregon’s Legislature legalizing human composting.

Brown signed House Bill 2574 on Tuesday, legalizing what’s also known as natural organic reduction, KOIN-TV reported. It also clarifies rules surrounding alkaline hydrolysis, known as aqua cremation. The law goes into effect July 1, 2022.

Katrina Spade, who removed her mask a moment for a portrait, is founder and CEO of Recompose, the natural organic reduction (or human composting) funeral home in Kent. Spade stands in front of part of a large array of the “vessels,” eight of which are currently holding bodies for 30 days during the process. In the foreground is a “cradle,” prepared as a demonstration without a body, which would be under a shroud and plant material. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)
The first human-composting funeral home in the U.S. is open for business in Kent, Washington

Rep. Pam Marsh, from Southern Jackson County, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Brian Clem, said her constituents are interested in alternative after-death options.

“My colleagues could see, as well, that in addition to providing families with a choice, it also is a business opportunity,” she said.

Elizabeth Fournier, owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services in Boring, Oregon, and author of a green burial guidebook, provides eco-friendly after-death services and has given clients the option of natural organic reduction since it was legalized in Washington state in 2020.


Fournier takes bodies to Herland Forest in Wahkiacus, Washington. It’s a natural burial cemetery about 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Portland.

In 2020, Fournier witnessed her first natural organic reduction and said seeing the process made her more comfortable in talking to her clients about that option.

Marsh said the state plans to have its rules in place for natural organic reduction facilities by 2022.