Nothing goes to waste with the Humanure Toilet

Based on nature’s own recycling process, this human waste-disposal system is inexpensive, waterless and a portable compost heap in a bucket.

humanure toiletThe ‘Jenkins’ humanure toilet is a simple plywood box with ProNature natural varnish.  On top is a conventional wooden toilet seat that fits over the top of a bucket.  Now you can do your bit almost without lifting a finger.

The Loo Manoeuvre

  • After use, throw the toilet paper (and rolls) into the toilet.  Sprinkle sawdust over to cover everything (sawdust from a mill that cuts raw wood works best, as kiln-dried dust is not as biodigestible).  Keep fresh sawdust in a bucket next to the toilet and top it up regularly.  Sawdust works very well in the Jenkins, but it is worth experimenting with other materials.
  • When the bucket is full (after about a week for one person), remove the seat, put the plastic lid on the bucket and remove.  Replace with an empty bucket with about 3cm of sawdust on the bottom and replace the toilet seat.
  • Set the full bucket aside until you have two or more.  Then empty them onto the compost heap (that you can make from old packing crates).  Clean the buckets with soapy water (use eco-friendly soap) and a toilet brush and pour the dirty soap soapy water onto the compost heap.
  • Add kitchen peelings and waste to the top of the pile and cover with fresh straw.

The entire process takes about ten minutes and it is satisfying to know that nothing goes to waste.

What odour?

It is not necessary to turn the compost pile.  There is no smell and no flies thanks to the sawdust and straw bio-filter.  Your bathroom will only be left with a bit of a woody smell.  The compost heap heats up within a day or so and will look like black soil after a month or two.  Wait 6 to 12 months to use the well-matured compost.

A family of six can fill a bucket a day.  Added to the same amount of kitchen waste a day, it will soon create a mountain of rich compost for the garden.  Cape Town-based Derek Gripper makes the ‘Jenkins’ and can deliver or arrange a demonstration in the Cape Town area.  For R900 you get the complete unit with four plastic buckets and lids.  An extra R200 will get you a copy of Joe Jenkins’s now classic work The Humanure Handbook.  It makes for good reading on the Jenkins and is guaranteed to convince anyone that water-borne sewage is not a good idea.  Contact Derek Gripper at

Source: Farmer’s Weekly 3 June 2011

What few people realize, is that farmers around the world, including South Africa, are using processed ‘humanure’ as fertiliser with very good results.

Toilet flushing is one of the biggest water users in the household- and fresh, potable water is used for flushing- in South Africa, where water scarcity is a reality, this does not make sense.  Should the Jenkins toilet not appeal yet, consider installing water-saving toilet mechanisms such as Water Rhapsody’s Multi-Flush- the mechanism simply replaces you existing flush mechanism and allows the user complete control of how much water is flushed (see product demo, click on Multiflush).

Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a solar water geyser, rainwater harvesting system, gray water system or water tank (we are authorised JoJo Tanks dealers and supply and install the full range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo tank stands).  Our water tank prices are hard to beat in the Mpumalanga & Limpopo Lowveld (we also supply high quality Atlas Plastics water tanks and other Atlas Plastics products on request). Go green with your house, car and business insurance by switching to green insurance, now available in South Africa and consider using bamboo products for new buildings as as well as old.



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