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Composting Toilets


The Humanure Handbook – A Guide to Composting Human Manure, 4th edition, by Joseph Jenkins, 2019. A very informative, exhaustively researched, and entertaining book that will have you turning turds into tomatoes in no time.

The Composting Toilet System, by David Del Porto and Carol Steinfeld. Center for Ecological Pollution Prevention, 1999.
P.O. Box 1330, Concord, MA 01742-1330.

Lifting the Lid – An Ecological Approach to Toilet Systems, by Peter Harper and Louise Halestrap. New Society Publications, 2001. This book covers information on potential insect infestations of composting toilets and coping strategies that are overlooked by the other books.

Liquid Gold – The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants, by Carol Steinfeld. Green Frigate Books, 2004. A welcoming introduction to the beneficial reuse and recycling of urine in household landscapes. A feces-less first step to composting human waste.

Guidelines on the Use of Urine and Faeces in Crop Production, by Håkan Jönsson, Anna Richert Stinzing, Björn Vinnerås, and Eva Salomon. Stockholm Environment Institute, 2004.

The Toilet Papers, by Van der Ryn. Capra Press, 1978. A guide and resource for composting toilets.

Why Farmers are Flocking to Manure, by Gene Logsdon. A great article on the value of manure from livestock and humans.

Online resources
A wonderful website highlighting the ongoing exploration of some practical aspects of simple, land-integrated living. David and Pearl offer the best dryland composting toilet information and workshops I’ve come across. Two of their inexpensive site-built composting toilet designs are now legal and can be permitted in the state of Arizona.
How to Build a Composting-Toilet Barrel System, video with David Omick
How to Use and Maintain a Composting-Toilet Barrel System, video with David Omick
This site shows you how to permit, build, and maintain site-built compost toilets in Arizona
This is a wonderful site documenting Ole and Maitri Ersson’s experiments with composting toilets, rainwater harvesting systems, small houses and more. They have fully permitted “loveable loo” bucket composting toilet system and urine capture and fertilization in Portland, Oregon
Here’s a great video on some of the Kailash Ecovillage compost toilet, agriculture, and de-paving work
OAEC compost toilet project in California
Rich Earth Institute Brattleboro, VT – NGO making/teaching fertilizer from urine
Workshops, education, policy work

Companies with compost toilet services for events – great alternative to stinky, chemical-based porta-johns
– Natural Event in Australia
– Compost toilet services for events in Utah
Service in Haiti that picks up and processes bucket toilets off site, then returns clean empty buckets
Compost toilet laws in Australia
Many ecological sanitation alternatives use the term “ecosan” to do an online keyword search.
Video of an ecosan composting toilet in Bangalore, India by Vishwanath Shrikantaiah. For more information, visit:
Tippy taps are a life-saving device. One thousand children die each day because of diarrhea, and half of those deaths can be prevented with handwashing with soap – an option not readily available in many rural communities. Tippy taps are a simple, low-tech device that anyone can assemble. They use hardly any water and help sanitize hands to save lives. This website provides information, resources, as well as a simple award-winning video about tippy taps.
Recode works to change building codes to allow more accessible and sustainable strategies such as inexpensive site-built compost toilets and tankless, gravity-fed greywater harvesting systems.

Greywater Harvesting