Composting human waste is one simple and effective way to sustainable living as it promotes reusing the waste human bodies generate. We can convert human waste into nutrient rich fertilizers which is good for plants.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is also working on this big problem and trying to resolve this issue as he can.

We can also put our efforts in tackling this problem, in this blog, we will explore everything you need to know about humanure composting, including benefits, safety precautions, and step-by-step instructions.

Humanure: what is it?

Compost created from human faeces is sometimes referred to as “humanure.” Composting specialist and author Joseph Jenkins originated the term. His book is titled “The Humanure Handbook.”

Using human faeces as fertiliser is a safe and efficient technique to recycle human waste and return nutrients to the land, despite the fact that the idea of doing so may be revolting to some.

Is Composting Human Waste Safe?

Composting human waste can be risky if not done properly or with the right kind of waste. Some things to think about are as follows:

  • Pathogens: Human waste, like other types of garbage, can harbour hazardous germs including bacteria, viruses, and parasites if not disposed of correctly. Care must be taken while composting human waste to ensure that all harmful germs and bacteria are eliminated.
  • Chemicals: Due to the presence of potentially dangerous chemical components, it is not a good idea to compost the waste of someone who is currently taking medicine or suffering from an illness. Make sure that all of the compostable waste you generate comes from natural sources.
  • Odour: When composting human faeces, a foul odour is produced, hence it’s crucial to do it in a remote area.

Various Forms of Human Waste

The majority of human waste cannot be composted. Composting is done to increase the soil’s nutritional content for the benefit of the plants. So, before we put anything in a compost pile, we need make sure it’s plant-friendly.

Human Waste That Decomposes

The majority of human waste cannot be composted. Composting is done to increase the soil’s nutritional content for the benefit of the plants. So, before we put anything in a compost pile, we need make sure it’s plant-friendly.

  • Urine: Nitrogen, found in abundance in urine, is crucial for plant development.Urine has a high concentration of nitrogen, a key nutrient for plant development. Urine is incredibly sterile, thus it inhibits the growth of microbes and makes for cleaner composting.
  • Feces: Human waste consists of two components; the first is urine, and the second is faeces. The nitrogen and phosphorus in human waste contains necessary nutrients for plant development. However, presents an issue in that it is very poisonous and may harbour dangerous germs. Therefore, it is crucial to exercise caution while dealing with human faeces in compost.
  • Toilet Paper: Toilet papers are used in most of the toilets and are also known for forming good compost. But while composting toilet paper it is important that the toilet paper you are composting is made from plant based fiber.

It is important to note that not all types of human waste can be safely composted. It is always important to follow proper guidelines and safety precautions when composting human waste to ensure that it is safe for use in gardens or other applications.

Human Waste Inappropriate For Composting

Keep in mind that not all forms of human waste may be composted. In general, you shouldn’t put anything in your compost bin that could potentially spread disease, or that contains chemicals or toxins. The following are some forms of waste that should not be composted:

  • Faeces from individuals who recently took antibiotics, as these can kill beneficial microorganisms in the compost pile and potentially contaminate the finished product.
  • Faeces from individuals who have recently been ill with an infectious illness, as doing so increases the risk of infection in compost handlers.
  • Human faeces that contains potentially dangerous substances from persons undergoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or who are infected with viruses like HIV or hepatitis should also be avoided in composting.
  • Human waste that contains toxic chemicals from cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs can poison plants and soil.
  • Period blood and other feminine hygiene items should be disposed of separately since they may harbour dangerous germs.
  • Materials containing plastics or synthetics, such as diapers, should not be added to a compost pile since they will not biodegrade.

Composting human waste requires a high level of sanitation and common sense, and it should never be done with any material that could be harmful to humans. It’s safer to err on the side of caution and get rid of the trash the right way if you’re not sure how to accomplish it.

Regulations Regarding Human Waste Composting

Human waste composting is a topic for state and local governments to regulate. In order to use humanure as compost, it must first be thoroughly treated to remove any dangerous bacteria and toxins. Humanure is typically heated to high temperatures in a process called thermophilic composting, which eliminates the risk of disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

Note that in some jurisdictions it is against the law to utilise human excrement as compost. It is important to research local ordinances concerning the use of humanure as compost before beginning such a project.

Composting Human Waste Has Many Advantages

There are a tonne of green and gardening benefits to composting humanure. Among the many benefits of composting human waste are:


Composting humanure is an environmentally responsible practise that can aid in waste minimization and resource conservation. Human waste diversion from landfills and sewage treatment plants helps minimise the carbon footprint and promotes a circular economy.

Enrichment of Soil

You can enrich your garden soil with humanure compost. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium can all be found in human excrement, which are nutrients that plants need to thrive. Human waste composting is a great way to improve soil quality and encourage lush plant growth.

Save Money

You can save money on fertilisers and soil additions by composting humanure. Producing your own nutrient-rich compost is a free alternative to buying pricey chemical fertilisers. This can result in substantial savings over time.

Water Conservation

Humanure composting is another method for water conservation. Soil water retention can be improved and irrigation frequency lowered by including organic matter. This can be very helpful in water-scarce areas.

Safety Precautions

Safe and effective humanure composting requires that certain measures be taken to prevent contamination and sickness. Safety measures will be discussed in the following section.

Source Separation

Separating humanure from other types of garbage, such food scraps and animal manure, is crucial. This will aid in avoiding the spread of germs and other potentially dangerous infections.

Composting Temperature

The temperature of the compost pile must reach at least 131°F (55°C) for three consecutive days in order to guarantee that dangerous bacteria and pathogens are eliminated during the composting process.

Composting Time

Humanure should be composted for at least a year before being used in a garden to guarantee that the compost is fully grown and free of hazardous germs.

Proper Handling

Wear protective gloves and always wash your hands after coming into contact with humanure or compost. If you have any kind of open wounds or injuries, don’t go near the compost.

How to compost human waste

Let’s look at the best way to compost human waste now that you know what it is:

Step 1: Collect humanure

Get some human waste together first. There are a few approaches to this:

  • Use a composting toilet: To recycle your human waste into compost, consider installing a composting toilet. They work wonderfully for composting humanure alone, without any added materials.
  • Build a compost bin: If you don’t have access to a composting toilet, you can still recycle your human waste by constructing a compost bin. This container needs to be clearly labelled and kept apart from any other compost bins you may have.
  • Collect in a container: Humanure can also be collected in a sealed container, such as a 5-gallon bucket. A container with a secure cover is essential for odour containment.

Humanure should be collected in a separate container from any other composting materials to prevent contamination.

Step 2: Include some materials high in carbon

After amassing a pile of human waste, you should incorporate carbon-rich substances into the compost. Composting requires a carbon-rich atmosphere to counteract the nitrogen-rich humanure.

Some carbon-rich materials you can use include:

  • Sawdust
  • Straw
  • Leaves
  • Wood chips
  • Shredded newspaper

Start your compost pile with a layer of carbon-rich items, then cover it with a layer of humanure. Just keep piling on layers of stuff until you’ve got a nice balance of carbon and nitrogen.

Step 3: Monitor temperature and moisture

For composting to be successful, the ideal conditions of heat and dampness must be met. The ideal conditions for your compost pile are a temperature of 110 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and a consistent moisture level between 5 and 10 percent.

You may need to add more carbon-rich materials or water to your compost pile in order to keep it at the ideal temperature and moisture levels. Turning your compost pile on a regular basis will help guarantee that everything decomposes at the same rate.

Step 4: Let it decompose

The time required to compost humanure varies from six months to two years, depending on the compost pile’s temperature and moisture. You can use the finished compost in your garden without worrying about any harmful bacteria.

Make sure your humanure compost has decomposed completely and is free of disease-causing organisms before utilising it. To make sure your compost is safe to use on edible plants, you can test it by growing non-edible plants in it first.

Safety Precautions

Humanure composting is safe and efficient if certain precautions are taken:

  • Always do a complete hand washing after coming into contact with humanure or compost.
  • Humanure should not be used on crops that will be consumed within a year.
  • Humanure should not be used from people who are ill or receiving any kind of medicine.
  • To ensure that any hazardous germs are eliminated, you must use correct composting techniques.

Cautionary measures for composting Human Waste

  1. Disease transmission: Human faeces may transmit disease due to the presence of dangerous germs and bacteria. To lessen the likelihood of disease spread, humanure should be composted at high temperatures (at least 131°F or 55°C) for long periods of time (at least a year).
  2. Chemical contamination: Composted human faeces should not be used in agriculture if it has been treated with chemicals. Talk to a waste management expert if you have doubts about whether or not your human waste is suitable for composting.
  3. Odor control: If you want to keep your compost pile smelling lovely, cover it with a tarp or something similar to keep the moisture and heat in.

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