The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water (Google eBook)
A classic is back in print! One of the favorite books of 1970s back-to-the-landers, The Toilet Papers is an informative, inspiring, and irreverent look at how people have dealt with their wastes through the centuries. In a historical survey, Van der Ryn provides the basic facts concerning human wastes, and describes safe designs for toilets that reduce water consumption and avert the necessity for expensive and unreliable treatment systems. The Toilet Papers provides do-it-yourself plans for a basic compost privy and a variety of graywater systems.
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Read when first published, 1978. This review based on memory; I have not seen the new edition. Based on the length, I assume it is the same, republished. Some things don't really change. Written just before the suthor became California's State Architect. The book was used as the basis of ad hominem attacks on Van der Ryn and the Governor who appointed him, Jerry Brown.
It was a real "game-changer" toward the end of the "back-to-the-land movement." Very interesting "...notes on the history of easing thyself...." the devices and the evolution; where we got the term "crapper," and other useful knowledge about our everyday (or several times a day) lives.
If I recall correctly, it argues that the pit privy is the safest means of disposing of human waste. Combined with a greywater system, it can point the way to living more lightly on the land. (Obvious limitations in dense urban environments, but the arguments against "modern" human waste disposal -- sewer systems, septic tanks - are worthy of more consideration.
Review: The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving WaterUser Review - Andrew Watson - Goodreads
Some intersting sh... stuff about waste management and mismanagement. Read full review