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"Humanure" is a neologism designating human excrement (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, nutrients can be returned to the soil instead of polluting the water table.

Humanure is deemed 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 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.


    See also

    Sustainable development Portal
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Humanure". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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