The Humanure Handbook: Shit in a Nutshell


The Humanure Handbook: Shit in a Nutshell

4th edition, by Joseph Jenkins, 300 pages, 6x9, softcover. In the opening words to his first edition, Jenkins wrote: “The world is divided into two categories of people: those who shit in the drinking water and those who don’t. We in the Western world are in the former class.” Now in its fourth edition, this self-published classic has sold more than 70,000 copies and been translated into 19 languages. Drawing from 40 years experience turning poop into compost, Jenkins makes the case for closing the fertility loop by making humanure hygienically safe and suitable for growing food, instead of flushing away this valuable commodity and polluting our water supply. Comprehensive yet readable, the handbook looks at disposal of human excrement from all angles: historical, anthropological, scientific, psychological and environmental, and includes diagrams, charts and funny cartoons. He lays out the problems with wastewater treatment plants, septic systems and even the simple outhouse. He takes a serious look at the potential nightmares of nightsoil: pathogens, parasites and pharmaceuticals, and how proper composting deals with these hazards. And of course, he provides designs for a composting toilet system, which is relatively simple. Buckets, sawdust (or other organic material for covering), thermometer, compost bin. This book is informative, humorous and inspiring. The average fecophobic American wastes about 1,000 pounds of poop every year. Think of all that free compost... -Elisabeth Benjamin

9641 The Humanure Handbook: Shit in a Nutshell
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