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 Post subject: Humanure Toilets
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:38 am 
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Humanure Toilets

What is "humanure"?

Humanure (human manure) is human fecal material and urine. It is a major source of environmental pollution around the world. It is also a source of disease organisms. When discarded into the environment as a waste material, it creates pollution and threatens public health. When recycled, the pollution and health threats can be eliminated. Humanure also contains valuable soil nutrients that can enhance plant growth. For these reasons, humanure should be recycled whenever possible.

How can humanure be recycled?

Humanure can be recycled in two basic ways. First, it can be applied raw to agricultural land. In this case, humanure may be called “night soil.” Unfortunately, raw applications of humanure to soil can still create pollution and spread disease, so this method of recycling is strongly discouraged.

The second method of recycling humanure is through a process called “composting.” This is the process used by the humanure compost toilet system described in this manual.

What is composting?

Composting is the feeding of organic material such as humanure to small organisms such as bacteria. Many compost organisms are too small to be seen, however, many of them can be seen. The larger ones include earthworms and many other tiny insects. Fungi also live in compost piles and they digest the tougher, woody plant materials.

What are organic materials?

Organic materials are those materials that came from recently living things such as plants and animals. Common organic materials include animal manures, including humanure, sawdust, food scraps, weeds, leaves, grasses, wool, hay, straw, agricultural byproducts such as wheat chaff or residues from beer-making or vodka-making. A compostable organic material that is not from a recently living thing would be, for example, peat moss.

How does one feed these materials to compost organisms?

Organic materials are fed to compost organisms by creating a compost pile. A compost pile allows us to combine various organic materials above ground where air can reach the pile. It also allows us to keep the organic materials inside an enclosed area away from people, dogs, goats, chickens and other creatures that should not be disturbing the compost pile.

Compost microorganisms will digest and convert humanure into a safe and pleasant soil-like material when the humanure is combined with other organic materials, especially ones that include materials such as grass, leaves, sawdust, hay, straw, and other animal manures. Compost organisms do not like raw humanure because it is too wet and too high in nitrogen. When combined with drier materials that are higher in carbon, such as the materials listed above, the compost organisms love to eat humanure.

Humanure Toilets

A humanure toilet is a collection device and not a waste disposal device. The purpose of a humanure toilet is to collect human fecal material and urine so that the toilet material can be composted. Also collected in the toilet are all toilet paper as well as paper tubes from the center of the toilet paper rolls (if any). All urine is collected in the humanure toilet and not diverted for collection elsewhere. In fact, any organic material to be composted can be deposited into a humanure toilet, including food scraps, although it is easier to collect food scraps in a separate compost bucket. Also collected in a humanure toilet are vomit (when sick), and baby diaper fecal material (scraped off the cloth diaper into the humanure toilet).

The humanure toilet should be constructed to look like a normal toilet with a toilet seat. It should be located in a private, comfortable setting, indoors during cold weather or year-round. The collection container should have approximately a 20 liter capacity. When properly used, the humanure toilet will create no unpleasant odors.

How can a humanure toilet not create bad odors?

When any foul smelling material is deposited into a humanure toilet, it is covered with a clean organic material in order to prevent odor, absorb urine and prepare the material for composting. This is how humanure is mixed with the other organic materials that allow it to be composted — by covering. No manual mixing, stirring or digging of the humanure is required, only covering. Therefore, the clean organic materials used in the toilet are called “cover materials.” The cover materials used in the toilet should have a somewhat dry and fine consistency. Sawdust is ideal, but other materials can be used depending on what is locally available. Some areas utilize rice hulls, others utilize coco coir, peat moss, rotted leaves, etc., even shredded junk mail. Proper cover materials are absolutely essential to the successful operation of a humanure toilet.

Can wood ashes be used as a cover material?

Wood ashes or coal ashes should not be used as a cover material in humanure toilets, nor should they be used for making compost. Compost organisms do not digest such materials. Clean wood ashes (wood ashes without plastic or other garbage burned in the fire) are good for the soil. They should be spread over a garden area or saved in an outdoor pile or in a fire-proof container for later garden use, but not added to a compost pile.

How much humanure can be collected in a 20 liter container?

A 20 liter container will collect about one week’s worth of human fecal material and urine, including cover material, produced by one adult. Human excrement is mostly liquid. The liquid will fill in the spaces between the cover material as the toilet container fills up. When using a humanure toilet, a clean layer of cover material should be kept over the toilet contents at all times. The simple rule to follow is this: if the toilet contents have an odor, add more cover material until there is no odor.

How is the humanure composted?

The collected toilet material is carried to an outdoor compost bin and added to the bin’s contents. If a single adult were using a humanure toilet with a proper cover material, he or she would have to empty one toilet receptacle once a week. For an average family of four, four toilet receptacles would have to be emptied per week, which can be done all at once (one day per week), if desired. For every 20 liter container of compost material carried out of the toilet to the compost pile, an equal container of organic cover material will be necessary to bring into the toilet room. Under normal circumstances, it should take about 20 minutes to empty and clean four toilet containers. This job of humanure compost-making should be conducted by a single family member who is trained in the use of a humanure toilet, although other family members can also assume this responsibility if they have also undergone proper training.

What can you use for a toilet receptacle?

A plastic receptacle with a handle, a lid and approximately a 20 liter capacity makes for a simple, inexpensive humanure toilet receptacle. Presumably, any easily carried waterproof container with a lid can be used as a humanure receptacle.

Is one toilet receptacle enough?

No. For best results, the humanure toilet should be equipped with a minimum of four toilet receptacles, all of which have lids and all of which are exactly the same size and shape. When one receptacle is filled, it is removed from the toilet, covered with a lid, and set aside in a non-freezing location. An empty receptacle is then set inside the toilet to replace the one that has been removed. When the second receptacle is filled, it is also removed, covered and set aside. The third receptacle is then set into the toilet. Now the first two receptacles can be emptied into the compost bin. It is easier to carry two receptacles at a time when toilet containers with handles are being used. It is important to have the toilet ready and available for use at all times. There should always be a receptacle available in the toilet at all times. For example, you do not want all of your toilet receptacles to be full when someone has to use the toilet. Also, when four receptacles are being used, they can all be emptied at the same time when the fourth one is nearing full. Empty and clean the first two that have been set aside, put an empty one in the toilet, then empty the next two. This is often the simplest approach as it only takes about 20 minutes per week.

Won’t the toilet containers smell bad after they are emptied?

Yes, the toilet containers will smell bad. That is why they must be cleaned every time they are emptied. They should be cleaned by using a long handled toilet brush and water. Graywater and rain water are both suitable for this purpose. The soap in the graywater will not hurt the compost. In fact, a little bit of soap is good to use when cleaning the compost container. It takes about 2 liters of water to clean one 20 liter toilet container. All water used to clean the compost receptacles should be deposited into the compost pile and never anywhere else. Furthermore, only biodegradable soaps should be used. Toxic liquids such as paints, solvents and petroleum products should never be allowed to contaminate graywater or compost.

After emptying and cleaning toilet containers, the compost-maker should wash her or his hands.

What is the compost pile like?

Humanure can constitute a threat to public health because it can contain disease organisms. Therefore, it must be kept isolated from access to the public until it completes the composting process. There are three basic rules of human sanitation: 1) humanure should not come into contact with water; 2) humanure should not come into contact with soil; and 3) you should always wash your hands after using any toilet or after adding toilet materials to a compost bin.

Humanure is composted in a “compost bin.” The purpose of the bin is to isolate and quarantine the humanure so that it does not come into contact with soil or water, nor can it be accessed by children or animals. Also, the bin elevates the humanure into a vertical pile, which helps the compost organisms have access to the oxygen they thrive on.

Why won’t the humanure come into contact with the soil when it is put into the compost bin?

A humanure compost bin should be built on bare soil. This allows soil organisms to enter the compost from underneath. Such organisms can include earthworms and many other small creatures and insects, all of which are good for the compost pile. When building a new bin, some dirt should be removed from the bottom of the bin in order to shape the floor of the bin like a very shallow bowl. Before a humanure compost pile is started in the bin, the indented bottom of the compost bin is filled with organic materials in order to create a thick layer between the humanure and the soil which will absorb liquids draining from the initial humanure deposits. This is called a “biological sponge.” It can be made of grass, leaves, weeds, hay, straw, animal manures, etc., or a blend of such ingredients, and it should be approximately one half meter deep or more. Once the humanure begins to compost (this is indicated by internal heating of the compost pile and may take 2 to 6 weeks), the compost pile will then begin to absorb moisture and will even require watering in dry climates. Graywater can be used to keep the compost pile damp. The compost should always have the moisture consistency of a wrung-out sponge, which is why we add all urine to a compost pile. If it is too dry, the microorganisms cannot thrive and the organic material will not compost.

Why would it take 2-6 weeks before the compost begins to work?

The compost pile requires a certain amount of mass before it will start to compost and a certain amount of time for the compost organisms to multiply. That’s why composting will not occur in the toilet itself, only in the compost bin. The amount of biological activity in the compost pile can be determined by monitoring the temperature of the compost using a compost thermometer, which should be about 50 cm long. Compost organisms generate heat during the composting process. Some compost piles will be so hot you cannot put your hand inside the pile. The heat, however, is internal. Compost piles do not radiate heat and cannot be used as a heat source.

Will the compost bin smell bad?

When any toilet material is deposited into the compost bin, it must again be covered by a cover material to prevent odor. The cover materials used in the compost bin can be rough and course and can include such things as weeds, leaves, grasses, hay, straw, even scrap woolen materials, but should not include tree branches or other thick, woody materials. The cover materials should be used in such a manner as to keep a cushion of cover material around the outside edge of the bin in order to prevent toilet materials from leaking from the sides of the bin. The toilet materials should be deposited into the center of the bin into a depression dug there for that purpose, then covered over with the cover material. A tool should be kept at the compost bin for use in making the compost and the tool (such as a shovel or hay fork) should not be used for any other purpose anywhere else. The same rule for cover material usage at the toilet is used at the compost bin: if it smells bad, cover it until there is no odor.

What about rain water? If humanure is not to come into contact with water, should we keep out the rain?

Rain water is good for compost because it helps keep the compost moist. Once the compost starts working, it can absorb a lot of moisture. In areas where rain is excessive such as monsoon areas, it may be advisable to cover the compost during heavy rains. If the compost is subjected to excessive rain, it can leach liquids from the bottom of the pile. This is unlikely to occur under normal circumstances. However, in severe rain conditions a simple water-proof cover over the compost, such as a large plastic bag or tarp, will prevent leaching. In dry climates, in addition to allowing rain to wet the compost, the compost will need to be watered. Gray water can be used for this purpose.

What about freezing?

If the compost pile gets too cold, it will lose its heat, stop working and go dormant. In very cold climates, it will freeze solid. When the compost pile is frozen, it can still be added to. Care should be taken to keep a cushion of cover material around the outer edge of the bin in the winter months. Also, the material added to the frozen pile should be spread out to keep it somewhat flat in order to prevent a frozen mountain from developing in the center of the pile. Furthermore, in very cold months, cover materials will also freeze. It is best to keep cover materials dry in the winter months so they don’t freeze. A bale or two of straw or hay, per family of four, per month, will provide sufficient cover material for use on the compost pile during the winter. It should be noted that the compost will not emit unpleasant odors when frozen, so quantities of cover material used in cold winter conditions can be minimal. In addition, the cover materials used in the toilet itself should be kept from freezing. If sawdust is used as a cover material in the toilet, for example, a container of sawdust should be kept indoors and unfrozen at all times.

What else should be put into the compost pile besides toilet materials?

All food scraps should also go into the compost bin. These can include meats, bones, fats, vegetable peels, liquids such as spoiled milk or stale beer, tea bags, egg shells, hair, and anything else that is organic and produced by the household during food production and consumption. Of course, bones and meat scraps can also go to a dog and food scraps to a pig, but these materials can also go to the compost pile. So can cotton sanitary napkins (although you will have to pick out pieces of plastic from the compost when it is finished). Small animal mortalities such as dead chickens, ducks or other creatures can be recycled through a compost pile as well. Other animal manures, such as chicken manure, sheep manure, horse manure, goat manure, etc., are also excellent for adding to a compost pile. If you have large amounts of animal manures, such as from a herd of animals, much of the animal manure can be composted separately so your household humanure compost bin does not fill too quickly. When adding foods or materials to a compost pile that may attract scavenger animals such as dogs, always dig a depression in the top center of the pile, drop the materials into the depression, and cover over with the compost and the cover materials. The top center of the compost pile is the most active part of the compost. This is where fresh material should be added, if possible. It may be necessary to keep a wire cover on top of the compost pile to prevent dogs and other animals from climbing on top of the pile and disturbing the compost.

When should a compost pile be started?

The best time to start a compost pile is in the mid-summer when the days are the longest. At this time, there is ample vegetation for creating a biological sponge and for fresh outdoor cover material. The compost will start working more quickly during this time of year. Compost prefers fresh, green vegetable matter over dried vegetable matter, so fresh leaves, weeds, grasses and sawdust are ideal for a compost pile. Later in the year, if the pile goes dormant and even freezes, there will be an adequate population of compost organisms already in the pile that will enable the pile to start working again after it thaws out in the spring. On the other hand, anytime a compost bin fills up and has no more capacity for additional organic material, a new bin can be started, even in the winter months.

How long does it take to fill a bin?

A standard humanure compost bin is about 1.5 meters square by about 1.5 meters high. A bin of this size can hold the entire amount of organic materials collected by a family of four over a year, including humanure, cover materials, food scraps, garden and yard materials. The reason a small bin of this size can hold so much material is because the compost shrinks while it is working. The compost organisms are converting the organic materials into a dense humus — a process that involves constant shrinking of the organic materials that are added to the pile. When composting for groups larger than the average family of four, a single compost bin will fill more quickly. When this bin is full, a new bin must be constructed for use. In cold weather months when the compost is dormant or frozen, it will undergo no shrinkage and will fill more quickly. However, once it starts working again in the spring, it will again start to shrink.

Is this true that a compost pile should be turned periodically with a shovel?

No. Do not disturb the compost pile. Let the compost organisms do the work for you. Sufficient oxygen will be entrapped in the pile as you add compost materials. Digging and turning the pile will disturb the compost organisms that have established their own layered populations. Just build the pile, patiently allow it to age, then use the compost. It is a mistake to try to hurry the composting process. Composting requires patience. It also helps to have experience, intelligence and a sense of responsibility. Composting is like an art. The practice of composting can be improved through experience and observation.

When is the compost ready to be used?

After the compost bin has been completely filled, it must be covered with clean cover materials and left to rest, undisturbed for approximately one year. This is the aging or curing stage of the compost and it is a very important stage. The amount of time the compost is allowed to age, undisturbed, is called the “retention time.” During this time, nothing whatsoever should be added to the compost bin. During the retention time, the final decomposition of the organic materials in the compost bin is taking place. This is often dominated by fungal organisms as well as larger organisms such as earthworms. The compost environment is an alien environment for human disease organisms and such “pathogens” are killed during the composting process. The retention time allows for an additional safety period for the destruction of any lingering human pathogens. The compost will continue to shrink during the retention time.

How should the finished compost be used?

The finished compost, after the retention time is complete, should look and smell like rich, dark, moist garden soil. It can be used to grow garden plants, trees, vines, shrubs and flowers. It can be used on top of the soil as a mulch, or dug into the soil for better root access for the plants. It can also be buried in holes where trees and shrubs are to be planted. Once the humanure compost toilet system is in use and the first batch of compost has been completed (which will require approximately a two year period), the average household of four people will produce approximately one cubic meter of compost annually. As a matter of control and in the interests of public health, all compost produced on a family plot should be used only on that plot.

How do we know the compost is safe to use?

Finished compost will never be sterile, but it should be sanitary. That means the compost should be teeming with microscopic life consisting of beneficial microorganisms that do not pose a threat to human health. Any human disease organisms that may have been in the original organic materials should have been eliminated, weakened, or greatly diminished by the time the compost has been finished. Ideally, when a humanure compost program is established in a community area, the program should be monitored by the local health department and the local agricultural department. Finished compost can be tested for both the existence of pathogens as well as for agricultural quality. If a humanure composter has doubts about the safety of his or her finished compost, the compost can be used for ornamental plants and flowers, for trees and bushes, or for food crops where the compost will not come into contact with the food and where the handling of the compost will be minimized.

Another alternative is to simply allow an additional year of retention time for the compost. Allowing additional retention time requires no energy and only a small amount of space. The additional retention time contributes to the overall safety of the finished compost when the compost quality is in question (such as when the humanure has been collected from a population that suffers from confirmed diseases). Therefore, if the compost does not seem “finished” after a year of collection and a year of retention, allow it to age another year. The additional year of retention time will allow it to complete the miraculous transformation from toxic waste to beneficial compost.

A healthy household that composts its own humanure does not need to be overly concerned about the safety of the finished compost if the instructions in this manual are carefully followed. On the contrary, by composting humanure rather than disposing of it into the environment, long-term public health and safety conditions should be improved, the environment should be protected, and the finished compost should provide a wealth of soil fertility for the composting family.

Building a Humanure Toilet

The humanure compost toilet is only one part of a three part compost toilet system. Those three parts include the toilet, the cover material and the compost bin(s). All three are necessary for the humanure compost toilet system to work properly.

The humanure toilet is a collection device. In order to prevent environmental pollution caused by humanure and in order to compost humanure, it must be collected before it comes into contact with the natural environment. It is therefore collected in a waterproof container for the purpose of depositing it into a contained composting environment. No composting occurs in the toilet itself.

The toilet collection receptacle should be approximately 20 liters in capacity because this size container can be easily moved by one person when full. If a container of this size is too heavy for one person when full (for example, when moved by a small, elderly person), then the receptacle can be carried and emptied before it is full.

Some compost toilet systems locate the toilet directly above the compost pile and eliminate the portable toilet receptacle. However, this is difficult to do indoors without a long-term odor problem and it is considerably more complicated and expensive than the humanure toilet discussed in these instructions. Therefore, such a system is not the subject of this manual.

The toilet can be enclosed in a moveable box-like structure, or it can be permanently built into a toilet cabinet for stability and aesthetics. As stated earlier, four receptacles should be used with the toilet and more if the population served by the toilet is greater than four people. Or, for every person who regularly uses the toilet, there should be a toilet receptacle available for use. For an average family of four people, this means four receptacles. The toilet box or cabinet is built to fit the toilet receptacle, which is why it is important to have the receptacles on hand when the toilet is built. Twenty liter (5 gallon) receptacles come in all sizes and shapes. If the toilet is built to fit one particular receptacle, that does not mean it will fit a different receptacle. If a replacement receptacle is two centimeters higher than the original receptacle, for example, then the toilet seat will not go down flat. So begin the toilet construction by first acquiring a minimum of four toilet receptacles, with lids, that are exactly the same size and shape.

Next, build the box or cabinet. A box creates a moveable toilet and a cabinet is permanently built into a wall. The most convenient form of box or cabinet is one with a hinged lid that allows for easy removal of the compost receptacle. There are a few simple rules to follow when building a toilet box or cabinet. First, the top of the toilet receptacle should come in contact with the bottom of the toilet seat ring. Therefore, the height of the toilet box is critical and the box has to be built to fit the particular receptacle that you have acquired. Secondly, the front edge of the toilet seat ring should line up with the front edge of the toilet box. These two design elements are important because of human anatomy. If the toilet receptacle does not come into contact with the underside of the toilet ring, then urine can be ejected above the toilet receptacle, especially by young boys. If the toilet seat ring is situated too far back from the front of the toilet box, then urine can be inadvertently deposited on top of the front of the box, thereby causing it to deteriorate prematurely. For a good, solid, long-term toilet, the top board should be a single piece of wood, such as a piece of exterior plywood. This wood should be painted, varnished, or otherwise sealed for long-term performance and for easy cleaning. The side pieces can be wood, new or salvaged, of various sizes depending on availability and personal preference. The length of the legs is what determines the height of the box. Illustrated instructions on how to build a humanure compost toilet box are included in this instruction manual. Examples of humanure compost toilets are also included.

The easiest way to build a humanure toilet is to acquire the wooden pieces already cut to size with a toilet seat and the necessary toilet containers, all in a “kit,” then simply assemble the toilet. Perhaps such toilet kits will soon become available.

Acquiring the Cover Materials

Without proper cover materials in adequate quantities, the humanure compost toilet will not work properly. An individual family can usually find such cover materials by locating local sawmills or sawdust piles, purchasing peat moss, hay or straw, or scavenging materials from the local environment such as leaves, grasses and weeds.

A community-wide humanure compost toilet program, however, requires the cooperation and participation of the local government and local businesses. When large quantities of cover materials are needed for large numbers of village composters, a survey of available compostable cover materials should be conducted before the compost toilet system is adopted on a large scale. This survey would include all local business, such as manufacturing operations where organic materials are used (wool, wood, paper, food, etc.), logging and lumber operations, and agricultural operations. It is likely that significant quantities of compostable materials are going to waste or are being landfilled that could instead be diverted into a compost recycling stream. These materials must be located, assessed for composting suitability, and transported to the village areas where humanure compost toilets are to be utilized. This approach would not only provide cover materials that would enable the use of safe and constructive biological toilets, but it would also help to eliminate waste in the local manufacturing community.

In areas of the world where composting has been underutilized or non-existent, pilot projects should be set up with prototype toilets that use different local cover materials or combinations of cover materials and the results scientifically monitored to determine which materials make the best compost. Furthermore, in drier climates where the compost may need to be watered with graywater, prototype toilet systems can be monitored that apply different amounts of graywater to the compost piles, and again data can be collected to help determine the amount of wetting that may or may not be required.

In any case, cover materials should not be too wet, such as a sludge, and they should have a basic carbon content such as cellulose materials from plant sources. Animal manures, if somewhat dry (as collected with bedding) can make excellent composting materials and can perhaps be suitable cover materials if odor is not a problem. Other materials from animal sources may also be suitable for composting.

Again, the simple rule when using cover materials is if the material that is covered smells bad, it needs more cover material. Cover until there is no unpleasant odor (providing the cover material itself does not have unpleasant odor).

How To Build a Compost Bin

The simplest compost bin would be a single bin of approximately 1.5 meters square and 1.5 meters high with an open top and one side removable. The open side should be closed off to animal access. This can be achieved by using removable boards or even bales of hay or straw to close the open side. The open side covering can be raised, as the level of the compost rises, in order to hold the compost into the bin. If the top of the compost is accessible to chickens, dogs, etc., it should also be covered. A simple wire cover will prevent the compost from being disturbed by animals and it is easily removable when adding compost to the pile. The compost bin itself can be built from scrap wood boards, wire mesh, bales of hay or straw, other recycled materials, or even masonry materials.

A humanure compost toilet system can be used in the same location for generations. Therefore, the most serious composters will construct a permanent bin. A minimum three bin system is recommended. One bin is filled for a one year period, then it is left to age. Another bin is filled for one year as the first bin ages. The first bin is gradually emptied as the second bin nears filling. By the time the second bin is full, the first bin is empty again and the cycle starts all over. The third bin, which would be the center bin, is used to store cover materials. This bin should be covered in order to keep the cover material dry in the winter months so the material won’t freeze. A roof over the center bin can also be used for rain water collection, with the water being conveniently used for cleaning compost toilet receptacles. A rain water collection system, however, must be drained during freezing weather.

The bins should be constructed on a slightly concave soil base so leachate, if any, will be contained. The soil base also acts as a conduit for soil organisms to enter the compost.

When scrap lumber is used for the sides of the compost bins, the lumber will eventually rot. When this happens, the lumber should simply be replaced. Do not use lumber that is treated with chemicals for the compost bins. The object of the bins is to provide a suitable home for compost microorganisms. Toxic chemical poisons do not suit that objective.

Compost Toilet Collection for Centralized Composting

An alternative to individual “backyard” humanure composting is centralized composting at a compost facility operated by either a government agency or by a private enterprise. In such as scenario, the humanure toilet receptacles, full and covered with tight-fitting lids, are collected from homes and even apartments, perhaps weekly, and taken to a central composting facility. In return for the collected toilet material, which contains valuable soil nutrients, the home-owner is provided with cover materials for use in the toilet as well as clean toilet receptacles. This scenario would appeal to those people who want to use an indoor, environmentally friendly, biological toilet, but have no use for the compost.

Compost Monitoring by Government Agencies

When humanure compost toilet systems are employed on a large scale in villages, it may be advisable for the local health department, the local agricultural department and even local universities to provide assistance. This can be done by monitoring the compost-making process to determine best practices (which cover materials work best, how much gray water is required to water the compost, if any, etc.), to analyze finished compost samples for the existence of pathogens, and to conduct analyses of the finished compost to determine its agricultural value.

Compost Toilet Training Programs

When humanure toilet compost systems are being employed by individuals on a large scale in a village setting, it is important the the individuals undertake a training program prior to starting their composting systems. This training program should include being required to read and understand a manual such as this one, being required to watch an instructional video showing a successful existing humanure compost system in operation, and attending a toilet building workshop, a compost bin building workshop, or a compost usage workshop. These training programs could be conducted by local NGOs, local government agencies, or by local private enterprise.

Opportunity for Cottage Industries

When valuable materials are discarded as waste, they create a drain on the revenues of society. When valuable materials are recycled, they allow us to reclaim wealth. The recycling of humanure on a large scale can create small businesses. These could include toilet making businesses, compost bin construction and erection businesses, and compost-making businesses. The finished compost can enhance local agricultural production. The finished compost can also be a saleable material. Therefore, humanure compost toilet systems can provide an opportunity for the creation of new, small businesses.

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Copyright 2006, Joseph C. Jenkins. All rights reserved. This Manual may be copied and distributed freely under the following 3 conditions: 1) the information is not changed; 2) the use is not for profit; and 3) the source of the information is credited: Joseph Jenkins, Inc., 143 Forest lane, Grove City, PA 16127 USA; You can download this manual and translate it into any language without any additional needed permission.

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 Post subject: Re: Humanure Toilets
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Commercial Composting Toilets

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Image ... -t951.html

Here are three commercial models:

Envirolet® Systems:

Nature's Head Composting Toilet:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:16 pm 
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How to make and use a sawdust toilet:

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Image ... -t951.html

Image My version of a "sawdust toilet" (as described in the Humanure Handbook) consists of a receptacle bucket, a removable toilet seat that slips into the top, and a bucket of sawdust for covering after each use. When the toilet is full the seat is switched to the empty sawdust bucket. The toilet is emptied, cleaned and sanitized and then becomes the sawdust bucket after filling with clean sawdust. The whole toilet system, including outdoor compost chamber, can be constructed for less than $10. This simple, inexpensive, and hygienic toilet -- affordable to construct and maintain by just about anyone on the planet -- is a perfect example of an appropriate and sustainable technology. (Continued here: ... riginal%29 )

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3rd edition - Published September 1, 2005

Joseph Jenkins

255 pages, 42 tables and charts, 55 drawings, 19 photos, glossary, index, and a few bad jokes

3rd edition - ISBN-13: 978-0-9644258-3-5; ISBN-10: 0-9644258-3-1

"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." Midwest Book Review



Introduction to the Humanure Hacienda (1 minute, 36 seconds)

Starting a New Compost Pile (4 minutes, 30 seconds)

The Active Side of the Compost Bin (1 minute, 58 seconds)

Adding Toilet Material to the Compost Bin (4 minutes, 58 seconds)

Digging Finished Compost from a Bin (1 minute, 24 seconds)

Adding Compost to a Garden in the Spring (3 minute, 49 seconds)

Steaming Compost Pile (39 seconds)

How we Make the Loveable Loo Humanure Toilet (8 minutes, 15 seconds)

Humanure Compost Planting Trials (5 minutes, 40 seconds)

Bamboo Camp Toilet (2 minutes, 10 seconds)

Humanure Composting at a Music Festival Using 5-Gallon Receptacles (10 min., 38 MB)

Humanure Composting at a Music Festival Using Wheelie Bins (10 min., 38 MB)

Humanure Composting at Natural Building Conferences (10 minutes, 38 MB)

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 Post subject: Re: Humanure Toilets
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:36 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
Instructions - Humanure Toilet (suitable for hanging on your wall)

Joseph Jenkins, Inc

PDF File that has clip art and instructions that you can hang beside your Humanure for your guests: ... s_both.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Humanure Toilets
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:38 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
Make Your Own Humanure Toilet

Joseph Jenkins, Inc

A hinged humanure toilet box will be 18" wide and 21" long. Get two boards 3/4"X10"X18" and two 3/4"X10"X19.5". Get two hinges. Get one piece of 3/4"X18"X18" plywood and one 3/4"X3"X18". Hinge the two pieces of plywood together.

Cut a hole in the larger piece of plywood to fit the top of the 5 gallon toilet receptacle. Make sure the hole is only 1.5" back from the front edge of the plywood. Always use identical receptacles in a humanure toilet so they will all fit correctly. Buy a standard toilet seat. --- continued at link, above ---

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