LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Natural organic reduction, also known as “human composting,” would be legal in Nevada if Assembly Bill 289 (AB289) wins approval at the Legislature. The bill was introduced Tuesday in Carson City.
The definition of cremation would be expanded to include natural organic reduction — a process by which the human body is put into a container with biodegradable materials that speed the transformation into nutrient-dense soil. It has become more popular as attention to the “carbon footprint” has grown.
Six states currently allow legal human composting: Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, California and New York. Washington was the first state to legalize it (May 1, 2020) and New York is the most recent (late December, 2022).
Burial and cremation is regulated by the Nevada Funeral and Cemetery Services Board.
While laws governing human composting vary in each state, AB289 calls for using containers that are also biodegradable rather than reusable. Further regulations would come from the state funeral board.
AB289 would relax restrictions on where bodies can be cremated when using natural organic reduction or alkaline hydrolysis. It would also create an exception for human composting, eliminating the requirement of “particles no larger than one-eighth of an inch.”
The bill is sponsored by Max Carter (D-Clark County), and lists five cosponsors: Assembly Democrats Selena La Rue Hatch, Cameron Miller, Shondra Summers-Armstrong and Howard Watts, and Democratic Senator Julie Pazina.