Home & Garden
||Joseph Jenkins, Inc.
||September 1, 2005
Barnes & Noble.com
Joseph Jenkins, Inc. Bookstore
A guide to composting human manure.
ISBN 978-0-9644258-3-5; $25.00 U.S. retail; softcover; 255 pages;
indexed; illustrated; glossary; distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing
The Humanure Handbook, 3rd edition, is the revised and updated 10th anniversary incarnation of Joseph Jenkins first self-published book. Humanure has found its way around the world to at least 60 countries on several continents. It has been recognized in various national book award competitions, being designated “Outstanding Book of the Year — Most Likely to Save the Planet” by Independent Publisher. It has been talked about on NPR, BBC, CBC, Howard Stern, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy Magazine and many other national and international media venues. For more information about this and the author’s other books, visit the publisher’s website at: josephjenkins.com.
Organic material should be recycled by every person on the planet, and recycling should be as normal as brushing teeth or bathing. Organic materials can be collected by municipalities and composted at central composting facilities. This is now done in many parts of the world where food discards are composted for urban communities. Toilet materials are not yet being collected and centrally composted in very many places, although such collection will undoubtedly increase as time passes.
We can compost our own organic material in our own personal compost bins in our own backyards. This is already becoming commonplace and compost bins are now popping up in backyards everywhere like mushrooms after a rain. Composting need not cost money and it can be practiced by anyone in the world at probably any location where plants can grow. Therefore, it is important that we learn to understand what compost is and how it can be made.
It is also important that we understand how to compost our toilet materials in a safe and simple manner. A low-cost composting toilet system can be very useful as a back-up toilet in an emergency situation when electrical or water services are disrupted, or when the water supply is diminished as during a drought, when flushing drinking water down toilets becomes especially ridiculous. It can also be very useful in any area where water or electricity is scarce or non-existent, as well as in developing countries where there may be many people with little or no money to buy commercial composting toilets. Finally, a simple, low-cost composting toilet system is attractive to anyone seeking a low-impact lifestyle, and who is willing to make the minimal effort to compost their organic residues. This chapter details how to compost toilet materials by using a simple, easy, low or no-cost method called a humanure toilet.
New Yorker Magazine, May 22, 2009
"This is a cult classic which might strike those without an outhouse as disgusting. But the methods outlined within have the potential to change the ecological fate of the world."
Organic Life, January, 2006
"Forced to self-publish due to the 'taboo topic, the unthinkable issue,' of this publication, Joseph Jenkins' Humanure Handbook has now become an international best-seller. It is presented with humorous cartoons, facts and diagrams, and Jenkins makes a compelling case for the composting of human excrement, in doing so questioning the very nature of what we consider 'waste.' With an unashamed tongue-in-cheek tone, Jenkins extols the virtues of new toilet systems, and yet he fervently believes in his argument, as do the thousands of converts to the cause, who themselves offer tips and anecdotes. The award-winning handbook stresses the importance of our 'symbiotic relationship with our planet,' and the fact that the addition of human waste will, in fact, significantly speed up the processes already at work in our composts. Whether we are all ready to subscribe to his ideology yet or not, Jenkins' enjoyable and witty publication is a no-nonsense insight into the 'dreaded ingredient.'
Midwest Book Review
"Despite all the books on manure and how to use it, human manure composting is not covered elsewhere, making THE HUMANURE HANDBOOK: A GUIDE TO COMPOSTING HUMAN MANURE a fine reference for any who would learn these basics. Now in its 3rd edition, THE HUMANURE HANDBOOK covers all the basics of human waste management, from septic systems to commercial composting toilets, sewers, and more. A history of various composting methods, science, and problems is accompanied by a healthy dose of humor plus a solid foundation of science into pathogens, pros and cons of competing systems, and more. If you're an avid composter, there's nothing like this on the market."
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