The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water

Sim Van der Ryn

“Much of this book is concerned with how all of us can take more responsibility for our own shit to save water, soil and money,” declares its author, emeritus professor of architecture at UC Berkeley and former California State Architect Sim Van der Ryn. Originally published in the 1970s, The Toilet Papers is basically a waste-not-want-not rethinking of the relation of shit to water in Western society, beginning with a short illustrated history of toileting and sewage in both the East and the West including a discussion of the relative merits of sitting vs. squatting. Van der Ryn then discusses “dry toilets,” “graywater” systems for gardening, plans for how to build your own “compost privy,” the conversion of waste-water into valuable by-products through aquaculture and other appropriate-technology approaches to this eternal dilemma. SS

Publisher: Chelsea Green
Paperback: 128 pages