Everything but Poop: The Strange Things You Find Working at a Sewage Treatment Plant
Travel

Everything but Poop: The Strange Things You Find Working at a Sewage Treatment Plant

Hammers, toothbrushes, and false sets of teeth—it all ends up in the same place.
December 9, 2016, 5:20pm

This article originally appeared on VICE Germany.

Usually 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. But your phone and keys won't be the only non-human waste there—at the sewage treatment plant of Ruhleben in West Berlin alone, five to six tons 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 on display in glass cabinets at their visitor's center. I visited the plant to photograph some of their best finds.

This hammer wasn't flushed down the toilet, but accidentally left by workers in the sewage system.