The Compost Toilet Handbook
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April 21, 2021. 254 pages, 203 photos and illustrations, 161 color pages, hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-7336035-1-5; Trim Size: 6"x9"; $40.00 US
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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.
It is intended for readers who are interested in learning how to make and use compost toilets, for everyday use, for emergency use, or for specialized use such as in schools, orphanages, remote camps, villages, or off-grid buildings. The book relies heavily on color photos and illustrations. Although the 161 color pages have made this book expensive to print, a picture is worth a thousand words, and the cost is worth it. There is no other book like this in print.
This book is a companion book to the Humanure Handbook 4th Edition (Joseph Jenkins Inc., 2019). Its purpose is to provide basic information about how to make compost from toilet material in a variety of situations, locations, and cultures. It is lighter on text and heavier on illustrations relative to the Humanure Handbook, in order to create a book that is easier to translate into foreign languages.
The 2nd half of the book includes case study reviews of compost toilet projects in African prisons and schools; Haitian schools, orphanages, and villages; schools in Mozambique; neighborhoods in Mongolia; a school and village in Nicaragua; and an ecovillage in the US.
Along with the nuts and bolts of compost toilet construction, use, and management, the book covers emergency preparedness, cold weather composting, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, health, and safety.
- Richard McLellanAug 16, 2022, 02:51 PMBuilt the compost toilet and am setting it up in my backyard today. It will certainly help with the water restrictions we are facing in California.
- Nicolai BrownOct 13, 2021, 05:17 PMQuick personal background: I've been composting since 2019 but didn't start using a compost toilet until late 2021. My wife and I built a compost toilet based on the instructions in the book. After using it for a while, I can't imagine going back to a water toilet unless there was no choice.
This book is excellent. I've read The Humanure Handbook 4 times (an embarassing number for having waited so long to actually take the plunge) and The Compost Toilet Handbook is an excellent companion or just a great standalone book on composting in general and composting humanure in particular. The photos are great and totally worth it. I absolutely LOVE the case studies of humanure composting projects, detailing what worked and what didn't. The writing is engaging with concepts clearly expressed.
I'm rereading the book now and can definitely "feel it" when the author says for example that one cover material works better in the toilet than another. My own personal experience with humanure and composting matches exactly with what's written in the book. This is a great resource!