NOR is an accelerated method of human decomposition. This new technology and process involves placing deceased human bodies in vessels where they are covered with wood chips and aerated, transforming the bodies into soil.
NOR in NYS
In December 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law legislation allowing “Natural Organic Reduction” (NOR) as a form of final disposition. When signed into law, NOR became the third legal form of final disposition, along with burial (42.4% in 2022; NY) and cremation (53.5% in 2022; NY).
The State is in the regulatory process and how NOR works in New York is evolving. Therefore, facilities are not currently set up and equipped to perform this type of disposition. It’s also important to note, cemeteries in New York are the only facilities allowed under the law to offer this new service to consumers.
Licensed Funeral Directors are compassionate experts fully responsive to what a person desires for their own funeral and final disposition. Once regulations and protocol are in place in New York, NYSFDA members will work to honor and uphold the wishes of anyone choosing Natural Organic Reduction as a method of final disposition. For a list of member firms, visit our website.
NOR in Other States
Natural Organic Reduction (NOR) was first introduced to the death care industry in 2015-16 with a human composting study at Washington State University, the Urban Death Project (now Recompose). Catching the attention of Washington State legislators, it became allowable by law in May 2019 and took effect in May 2020. In 2021 Colorado and Oregon legalized the process and in 2022 California and Vermont followed suit. New York is the sixth state to legalize this form of disposition.