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"Humanure" is a neologism designating human waste (feces and urine) that is recycled via composting for agricultural or other purposes. The term was popularized by The Humanure Handbook, a 1994 book by Joseph Jenkins that advocates the use of this organic soil amendment.
Humanure is not traditional sewage that has been processed by waste-treatment facilities, which may include waste from industrial and other sources; rather, it is the combination of feces and urine with paper and additional carbon material (such as sawdust). By not disposing of feces and urine through the typical use of a flush toilet, valuable nutrients can be returned to the soil instead of polluting drinking water.
Humanure is safe for humans to use on crops as long as it has been composted properly. This means that thermophilic decomposition of the humanure must heat it sufficiently to remove or destroy harmful pathogens, or enough time must have elapsed since fresh manure was added that biological activity has killed most pathogens. To be safe for the crops, a curing stage is often needed to allow a second mesophilic phase to reduce phytotoxins.
Humanure is different from night soil, which is raw human refuse spread on crops.
|This page uses content from the English-language version of Wikipedia. The original article was at Humanure. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with PermaWiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|