This article originally appeared on VICE GermanyUsually when you flush something down the toilet, the idea is to have it out of sight and out of mind as soon as possible. It's a different story when you've accidentally dropped and flushed your phone or your car keys down the same ceramic black hole.If you've really flushed them, your phone and keys won't see the light of day until they reach the sewage treatment plant in your area. Your phone and keys won't be the only non-human waste there – at the sewage treatment plant of Ruhleben in West Berlin alone, 5 to 6 tonnes of un-biodegradable dirt is filtered out of the water every day.
Since 1963, employees of Ruhleben's sewage plant have been collecting objects they've found swimming in Berlin's sewage system, and then putting them display in glass cabinets at their Visitor's Centre. I visited the plant to photograph to some of their best finds.More toilets on VICE:What Do People Think of Public Toilets Being Flushed Away?Brits Tell Us What They Really Think About Unisex Public ToiletsOver or Under: We Asked a Physicist to End the World's Great Toilet Paper Debate