How does a new company in the eco-burial business of human composting find a facility? In 2020 Turbak was tasked by one such company to find them a composting facility. In a market where stand-alone buildings are scarce, the business is one that others don’t want to share space with, and the capital required to build was immense, the challenge was very real. Adding to the challenge, it was a new business with no track record, no historical financials, and limited cash.
There are two main choices after death: burial or cremation. But now people in Washington State have a third legal option: They can have their bodies turned into soil.
Washington is the first state in the nation allowing the practice of “above-ground decomposition,” explicitly allowing human remains to become compost. Turbak’s client is pioneering the method that will allow bodies to be placed in a receptacle, along with organic material like wood chips and straw, to help speed up the natural transition of human remains into soil. The soil is then returned to loved ones to be spread on a garden or to help grow a tree, just as people can spread cremated ashes.
With no working capital, a miniscule budget, and a fledging product the challenge was immense, but Turbak found them a facility. Following days of back and forth and an hour-long face-to-face battle with a stubborn landlord, they were given the lease. The stand-alone warehouse was the best option: it featured a loading bay, washable walls/floors, heavy floor loads, ceiling heights and high capacity water/gas lines. The existing infrastructure eliminated almost all construction costs to build a composting facility.