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[greenyes] composting coffin
Nancy, thanks for that link to the great article. I will definitely get the 
book, Stiff. I had to laugh when author Mary Roach says, "As always, California 
will be first." Since I've moved from Boston to the San Francisco area, I've 
been marveling at how behind the east coast times things are here in many 
ways. OK, but probably not as far as reuse of hard goods. 

Anyway, I've heard of a German operation that does all of this, minus the 
freezing and shattering. Freezing a body and breaking it up might use far less 
energy than burning a body that's 80 to 90 percent water, but I wonder if it is 
far more efficient to simply insert composting bacteria and worms. As we know 
from the journal Biocycle, large fleshy bodies are composted every day (cows) 
with a five-day total decomposition rate with aerobic hot composting. Interred 
where there is high elevation (too high to reach groundwater) but shallow and 
in the zone of aeration and plant roots, a body could get the biological 
treatment and nutrient recycling we'd like, just as ecological wastewater 
recycling is achieved. 

morbidly yours and always interested in nutrient recycling,
Carol Steinfeld 

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