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The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition [Paperback]

Joseph C. Jenkins
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1, 2005 0964425831 978-0964425835 3
The 10th Anniversary Edition of the most comprehensive, up-to-date and thoroughly researched book on the topic of composting human manure available anywhere. It includes a review of the historical, cultural and environmental issues pertaining to "human waste," as well as an in depth look at the potential health risks related to humanure recycling, with clear instructions on how to eliminate those dangers in order to safely convert humanure into garden soil. Written by a humanure composter with over thirty years experience, this classic work now includes illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to build a "$25 humanure toilet," a chapter on alternative graywater systems, photos of owner-built humanure toilets from around the world, and an overview of commercial composting toilets and systems.

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The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition + The New Create an Oasis with Greywater: Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems - Includes Branched Drains + Builder's Greywater Guide: Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction and Remodeling
Price for all three: $47.68

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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." New Yorker Magazine

"Despite all the books on manure and how to use it, human manure composting is not covered elsewhere, making the Humanure Handbook a fine reference for any who would learn these basics. If you're an avid composter, there's nothing like this on the market." Midwest Book Review

"Finally we have a comprehensive book on recycling human excrement without chemicals, high technology, or pollution. Well written, practical, and thoroughly researched . . ."--Whole Earth Review



"Almost certain to become a classic in its field. This book should be required reading. . . ."--Countryside Journal



"We think The Humanure Handbook ranks right up there with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring . . ."--HortIdeas



"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."--New Yorker Magazine



"Despite all the books on manure and how to use it, human manure composting is not covered elsewhere, making the Humanure Handbook a fine reference for any who would learn these basics. If you're an avid composter, there's nothing like this on the market."--Midwest Book Review

From the Publisher

This is the 3rd edition of a self-published book. No respectable publisher would touch it with a ten foot shovel. The 1st edition of Humanure was published in 1994 with a print run of 660 copies, which the author fully expected would last the rest of his life.

Now, 11 years later, the book has sold over 25,000 copies in at least 59 countries worldwide and has been published in foreign editions on four continents. The 2nd Edition was a 2000 Independent Publisher Outstanding Book of the Year, deemed the book "Most Likely to Save the Planet," a 2000 Finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards, and a Finalist in the 2000 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Excellence in Publishing. It was an Amazon.com #1 bestseller in its category for several years, and has been reviewed by Mother Earth News, Whole Earth Review, Countryside Journal, The Journal of Environmental Quality, Natural Health, and many other popular print media. It has been talked about on NPR, BBC, CBC, Howard Stern, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy Magazine, Organic Gardening Magazine and many other national and international venues.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Joseph Jenkins, Inc.; 3 edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964425831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964425835
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jenkins lives in the rural countryside of Pennsylvania, USA, with a few cats, some chickens and ducks, a dog and whatever friends and/or family members happen to be home at the time. His speaking schedule can be viewed at http://josephjenkins.com/speaking_engagements.htm.

He began self-publishing in 1994. His three titles include: The Humanure Handbook; The Slate Roof Bible; and Balance Point.

The Humanure Handbook has been recognized in the Benjamin Franklin Awards, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards, Independent Publisher Awards (where it was deemed "Outstanding Book of the Year, Most Likely to Save the Planet"), and the Three Rivers Environmental Awards, and has twice been a category bestseller on Amazon.com. Jenkins has worked in Mongolia and Haiti teaching humanure composting. He also speaks on the topic worldwide. More information can be seen at humanurehandbook.com.

The Slate Roof Bible was awarded the prestigious Gold Circle Award by the National Roofing Contractors Association, as well as the Writer's Notes Book Award, and has been recognized in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards, the Independent Publisher Awards and the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards. It has also been an Amazon.com #1 category bestseller. Jenkins is Executive Director of the Slate Roofing Contractors Association of North America, Inc., a non-profit trade association. He also speaks on the topic of slate roofs world-wide. More information can be seen at slateexperts.com.

Balance Point, addresses the predicted worldwide global ecological collapse scientists say will occur in 20-40 years.

Please visit the author's web sites at josephjenkins.com, slateroofcentral.com, slateroofwarehouse.com, slateexperts.com, traditionalroofing.com, humanurestore.com and humanurehandbook.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it more than five stars! November 16, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Everyone should read this book, even if they have no intention or ability to use a humanure composting system. It provides a wealth of information on a subject that has been ignored for too long...human waste - how to dispose of it in a sensible, sustainable, practical, useful manner. We haven't flushed a toilet in this house in eight months, since we got this book and built our own sawdust toilet and composting box out back. We had a serious drought here this summer and our well was REAL low, but we had no problems because we weren't FLUSHING FOUR GALLONS OF CLEAN DRINKING WATER UNDERGROUND each time we went in the bathroom. I always wondered why we eliminate in water, anyway. And it doesn't stink, the compost box doesn't stink, it's simple and straightforward and clean and the humanure toilet's time has come! Everybody who comes in our house gets dragged into the bathroom by my husband to meet our new humanure toilet! Then I drag them outside to meet my wonderful compost box! So far we've had one convert, a couple with a camp who were using a stinking old outhouse, and they are just thrilled with the idea of using a humanure toilet next summer when they move back to camp. As a bonus, our electric bill dropped substantially, just because the water pump doesn't have to kick on every time a toilet is flushed. Buy this book, read it, start using a humanure toilet, tell all your friends, lend the book to your friends, do it now! Then read Joe Jenkins' other book, "Balance Point."
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulp Non Fiction July 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Humanure Handbook tells you how to compost it, why to compost it, and gives you all you need to know to get started. He's got a lot input on your output. If you've ever wondered why our society poops and pees in perfectly good drinking water and then spends lots of money to buy bottled water, this book's for you. This is the third copy I've purchased because I want to share it with friends.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars we are all earth in the end March 31, 2011
Format:Paperback
I found Jenkins' book about 12 years ago,but I bought a commercially sold "composting" toilet to have something more official looking to show the building inspector.Therein lies the main hurdle to any sane treatment of human waste-the horror that most of society must overcome to even talk about the subject.To me this book belongs in the category of books that should start a revolution.Sadly,it won't because humans are not so enlightened.Still,for the few and the brave who honor common sense over cultural phobias,this book will send you on your way with a new sense of freedom and some damn good fertilizer.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I now have a composting toilet behind the house June 20, 2007
Format:Paperback
This was our primary source material for building and maintaining our composting toilet. Works great, saves on water, makes for good plant food, and only smells like sawdust inside.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in use for a year December 4, 2011
Format:Paperback
I have not read the update version, but I did get a hold of a copy when it was still free on his site. Couldn't be much more simple than this. Poop, cover with sawdust, dump in compost pile, clean buckets, reuse. We've used in our yurt for last year and nothing but good things to say about it. Takes as much time to empty and clean 3 buckets every couple weeks as it would to clean 3 toilets. Wonder why someone never came up with this in all the years of outhouse use!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dinner conversations December 7, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If there was a class for composting 101, then this would/should be the text book. Joseph Jenkins has done a lot of research in writing this book, and it shows brilliantly. The book reads clearly and is very understandable. It's entertaining, informative, purposeful, well referenced, and quite humorous. Me and my girlfriend have been researching on our own how to become self sufficient and off the grid. This book has definitely boosted, not only my confidence on how to handle poop, but also my girlfriend is now on board! The parts of the outcome from reading the book we did not expect were when, during dinner conversations, our families would ask us "How will you deal with your sewage?" Interestingly enough, once you've read the book, your own concerns and fears of odor, and treatment of your waste disappears. The interesting part is that just about everyone else is still stuck in fecophobia world, that is of course until they visit your house and ask what kind of "air freshener" you use for your bathroom and compliment how good your coffee smells.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!! May 11, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book combines humor, biology, humor, facts, humor, and specific instructions. Did I mention humor? ;-)

It is also incredibly thought-provoking. The author points out that we are one of the few countries that defecate in our drinking water.

We now have two composting toilets. The one we spent over a $1000 for before we bought the book and the $50 one we built after we bought the book. Guess which one is easier to deal with?!
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't think it's all going to be perfect though. September 4, 2006
By D. Hall
Format:Paperback
We were so inspired by this book we ripped out both our flush toliets. We started a large composting operation in our back yard. Now we have lots of mice and flies - yes we follow the directions to the letter. He states with proper covering, you won't get flies. Wrong. If you mix food with the foop no mice - wrong again! Mice and flies anyway - so you might want to start small first before you go sell your old porcelain potties. We feel slightly betrayed by this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great informative book!
This a great book. It has some amazing insights into the way the world handles it's waste products in general and then more specifically...sewage. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Gayle Hinton
5.0 out of 5 stars The Humanure Handbook
EXCELLENT read! This book has saved me from an expensive mistake: buying a composting toilet system from Home Depot (for around $2000), when I can build my own for a tiny fraction... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Humanure
Very helpful for those living off the grid or just camping better than leaving a mess for someone else! Thank you!
Published 1 month ago by Patty Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for gardeners, homebuilders, maybe even civil engineers
I donated this book to the head of my local Master Gardener organization. It's a brilliant book. The best part about it is that you'll no longer be left with any myths about... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gabriel Arthur Petrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should get this book...
I will admit that my first impression of this concept was shock. After lots of researching and reading this book, my opinion is that everyone needs to be making Humanure. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jeff Reese
5.0 out of 5 stars The Humanure Handbook
This is a must have book for anyone serious about homesteading or getting off the grid. Human manure has been used in other cultures for as long as man has been on earth as a way... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Diann Dirks
5.0 out of 5 stars composting will save teh world
And this book will tell you why. It's very comprehensive adn informative. It could have used a better title not to scare people off.
Published 3 months ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars Never knew poo was so interesting!!
This book was on a required reading list for a course I'm taking this spring. Changed my life. Joseph Jenkins is a great writer, making what would normally be an odd subject fun... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ray Dalida
5.0 out of 5 stars The best reference I have found on composting human byproducts
This book was recommended to me by a good friend when I had too many questions for him to answer. It really breaks down the science involved in composting and reusing human urine... Read more
Published 3 months ago by matt schmitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What We Needed!!!!
We own a little house "out in the middle of nowhere" and have a cesspool, not a septic. This house was constructed 160 years ago and all of the previous owners never put in... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Shirley Feeney
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