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Featured Image Credit: @returnhomenor/TikTok
A TikTok user who works as a 'human composter' has described what happens to bones when bodies are turned into compost.
Many people might be familiar with the processes of burying or cremating bodies after death, but funeral home Return Home offers another option that 'transforms human remains into life-giving soil'.
The company, which describes itself as a 'green funeral home offering a sustainable and ethical alternative to burial and cremation', has intrigued hundreds of people on TikTok, with one person asking what happens to human bones during the process as they don't decompose.
The question is 'one of the most common' heard by workers at the funeral home, as explained by one member of staff who responded with a TikTok video.
Using a miniature version of the decomposing setup for demonstration, the worker explained that bodies go through a stage called 'screening', where staff are 'able to remove anything inorganic from the compost and... remove bone'.
At that time, the worker explained, the bones are placed into a 'cremulator'; a device also found in a crematorium that is used to grind bones. Once the bones are broken down into smaller parts, they are reintroduced to the compost and left to 'cure' for 30 days. The bones then become porous, meaning the microbes in the compost can 'consume' them.
TikTok users have made clear they are fascinated by the process, with many declaring they'd be interested in getting turned into compost themselves when the time comes.
"Honestly I'm really loving the idea of becoming mulch (compost) when I go," one person wrote, while another commented: "I really hope to have this done when I die, and then hopefully returned to the earth on my property...don't keep me on the mantle, please."
Other TikTokers praised Return Home for its detailed and fun explanations, with one writing: "I love your representations. They are descriptive and yet most respectful. Thank you."
Return Home calls the process of turning remains into 'life-giving soil' as 'Terramation', saying it allows families to 'travel the journey of grief at their heart’s pace and empowers them to make meaningful end-of-life decisions that give back to our planet'.
The company currently serves families in all 50 US states and Canada, according to its website, and once the body has been successfully turned into compost it is delivered to the family to be 'used to plant a memorial garden, a grove of trees or donated to nurture land in need of revitalization'.