A Proposed Law Allowing for Human Remains Composting

Automated Station Identification: PYX 106. Capital Land’s Classic Rock with Quinn and Cantara.

Quinn: 1-800-LAW-1010. It’s 1800LAW1010.com on the internet, Cantara.

Cantara: So apparently the story we picked for Paul Harding this week is one he doesn’t want to touch.

Quinn: Was he afraid of it? It’s a little heavy.

Cantara: So he’s sending Cassandra Kazukenus. Hi, Cassandra, how are you?

Cassandra: Good morning. It’s funny, the message said, “I didn’t mean for this topic to be what it was.” He goes, “I didn’t see it until after I asked you to cover.”

Quinn: Well, it’s a fascinating topic, and I don’t see any real problem with it, you know, barring a couple of different things.

Cantara: Well, when I move on to the next world, I would like to be buried in the roots of a tree…

Quinn: Right. That would be great, wouldn’t it?

Cantara: …you know what I mean? And then so, the story that we’re talking about is a new law being considered that would allow human corpses to be used for composting, put directly into the ground and surrounded by wood chips. Right now we can’t do this, right?

Cassandra: That’s what it looks like, I guess. I never really thought about it prior to this. It must be a new thing in Washington.

Quinn: Well, I mean, we’re all so, you know, nobody wants to, like, I think, deal with that moment, you know? With the death thing, like, with the body stuff, and so I think…

Cassandra: Yeah.

Quinn: …over the years we’ve all, you know, let somebody else handle it, but back in the day, it’s pretty commonplace to take the family out and bury them in the back yard, in the farm.

Cantara: They didn’t need to dig a hole. They just put rocks on top, according to the old Westerns.

Quinn: Yeah. Is it gonna be, like, do they have to put the wood chips on top of it after they bury it? Is that the criteria?

Cassandra: I think the point is to make it more of a composting type, you know, you degrade.

Quinn: What if you reuse your compost, you know, and, like, Uncle Larry is in your flower bed now? That’s weird.

Cassandra: You’re just closer to him than ever. Right?

Cantara: Yeah, I mean, if someone really loved tomatoes and they turned into compost for you and then grow amazing tomatoes, I mean, but let’s talk about the lawyer angle here. When does this become an actual law, and is this gonna pass?

Cassandra: Well, I mean, it hasn’t passed yet, so it won’t become a law until it’s signed obviously, just like any other. It got passed in Washington, you know, we’ve talked about it before in New York…usually pretty progressive on these things, especially with the environmental aspect of it. And it’s being billed as positive for the environment, you know, compared to cremation. There’s not the effects that it would have in that situation, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it passed.

Quinn: Some people don’t get cremated. They have to be buried or want to be buried.

Cantara: Some religions require you to be buried, but I wonder…

Cassandra: Right.

Cantara: …if there’s, like, a lobby group from, like, the funeral homes who are gonna lose business here. Honestly, you know what I mean?

Quinn: And if they sleep at night.

Cantara: They’re gonna, like, lobby against this law. I don’t know if you’ve…

Cassandra: But I mean, wouldn’t you think there would be another pop-up business that supports this?

Cantara: Right.

Cassandra: I mean, I’m not gonna want to dig and figure out how to do all of that stuff.

Cantara: That’s a good point.

Quinn: There’s gotta be something for Grosie [SP] to do, bro.

Cantara: So, I don’t know. Did you find it…can we bury dogs in the ground? Can we bury cats in the ground? Is that against the law?

Quinn: We’ve always been able to, haven’t we?

Cantara: We always have.

Quinn: God, is that like…

Cassandra: I guess I never thought about it. We have in the past and my in-laws have, you know, acres behind their house in the woods. That’s where our last dog went and the vet’s office released her to us, so I assume…

Quinn: Yeah.

Cassandra: But I have not researched it.

Cantara: Go up to Garfield Road in East Nassau. You’ll find a cat named Sully.

Quinn: Oh, no kidding.

Cantara: It was a cold winter. I didn’t dig a deep hole.

Quinn: I believe I remember it was almost impossible to even dig at all.

Cantara: Yeah. I did the best I could, man.

Quinn: That’s all right, man. It’s all right.

Cantara: Well, this was fun, right Cass?

Cassandra: Oh yes. Super bright on this dark morning.

Quinn: Right.

Cantara: You handle legitimate law cases, too, don’t you?

Cassandra: Yeah, in theory, in theory.

Quinn: I feel like that somebody is gonna, even if this passes, somebody’s gonna screw this up and be in trouble for it, you know what I mean?

Cantara: It’ll be, where you can bury people will still be…

Quinn: Some guy will bury it in a, you know,

Cantara: It will still matter.

Quinn: …a space between the sidewalk and the street instead of his regular yard. Hey, thanks, Cassandra.

Cassandra: There’s something I have faith in, we will make sure to make a mess of this somehow.

Cantara: 1-800-LAW1010 and 1800LAW1010.com. Tell Paul, “Good job for skipping this week.” He made the right choice.

Quinn: I don’t know.

Cassandra: I will let him know.

Cantara: Thanks.

Quinn: See ya.

Cassandra: Thank you.