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The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition Paperback – September 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 418 ratings

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Paperback, September 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"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

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, 22 years later, the book has sold over 60,000 copies in at least 59 countries worldwide and has been published in numerous 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 #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.
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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0964425831
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Joseph Jenkins, Inc.; 3rd edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780964425835
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0964425835
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.02 x 0.79 x 9.02 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 418 ratings

About the author

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Joe began self-publishing when he turned his masters thesis into the non-fiction Humanure Handbook and published it in 1995. The first edition of the book was execrable, but it developed a life of its own somehow, and has gone on to sell over 80,000 copies so far and be translated in whole or in part into 23 languages over four editions. The book has received numerous book awards and been mentioned on such places as the Wall Street Journal, Howard Stern, Playboy, NPR, BBC, CBC, etc.

The non-fiction Slate Roof Bible, in three editions (most recent July 2016), now in full color and hardcover, records decades of work within the slate roofing industry worldwide. The first edition received the National Roofing Contractor’s Gold Circle Award, and the 2016 edition received 10 book awards.

The Balance Point - a Missing Link in Human Consciousness (May, 2018) is an experimental book, a blend of fact and fiction, or what is referred to as “creative non-fiction." The author states on the title page, “This book is based on actual occurrences, although some characters, chronologies, and details are rearranged and/or fictionalized for literary purposes. Names of the individuals in this book have been changed to protect privacy. All the scientific and environmental data is factual.” The Balance Point is available as a print book, or a Kindle book. It is also available on Smashwords.

Slate Roofs 1926 (published February 2020): This 132-page book is a reproduction of the original 84-page classic “Slate Roofs,” published in January 1926. Joe adapted the title to be more compatible with a 21st century readership, and made some corrections and stylistic changes. Almost all the information is presented exactly as in the original publication, even anachronistic references. Included at the end of the book are 47 additional pages with 21st century guidelines for slate roof installation, repair, and restoration, as well as excerpts from the 2016 Slate Roof Bible 3rd Edition.

The Compost Toilet Handbook (published May 2021): 254 pages, 203 photos and illustrations, 161 color pages, hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-7336035-1-5; Trim Size: 6"x9". The Compost Toilet Handbook is an illustrated instructional manual explaining how to make, use, and manage compost toilets, which are waste-free toilets that rely on the biological process of composting to recycle toilet material. It is based on the author’s 40+ years of first-hand experience. The 254-page indexed book has 161 pages of color photos including 203 photos or illustrations from 13 countries where compost toilet systems are in use.

Please visit the author's web sites at,,,,,,, and

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
418 global ratings

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R. McCarthy
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much crap :-)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 14, 2016
6 people found this helpful
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Eddy Winko
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, read it and if you have the space do it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 28, 2012
10 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars sometimes funny tips (from 'Tommy Turd)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 20, 2015
2 people found this helpful
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Elizabeth O
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and valuable book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 30, 2011
7 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars The natural way!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 9, 2012
5 people found this helpful
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