What is value and non-value, or more properly, how is value or non-value assigned to things? Poop serves as a best example for answering the question. Universally, poop is thought of as the excrement of our bodies, the unwanted leftovers of our digestive system. But is poop really just that? Just waste without any value? In this podcast, we have investigated the valuation of poop from several different perspectives – historical, personal, technological (both metropolitan and decentralized).

We have seen that poop can be used as a fertilizer, turned into energy in the wastewater treatment facilities and have a significant scientific value. However, we have found out that values or valuations are not universally shared but perceived in various ways because of the complexity and contextuality of socio-technical systems.


The podcast was made possible by the valuable contributions of:

  • Barbara Jeanne (BJ) Ward, PhD student of Eawag at ETH, focussing on optimizing faecal sludge treatment in low-income cities
  • Klaus Stegmayer, -Ing., Wastewater Treatment Plant director of the city of Augsburg
  • Florian Werner, author of Dunkle Materie – die Geschichte der Scheiße
  • Konrad Koch, Post-Doc of Technical University Munich in the department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, group leader of Energy-Efficient Wastewater Treatment
  • Miloslav Kverka, Ing. Immunologist, Institute of Microbiology, The Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Roni Penn, Assistant Professor of Technion Israel Institute of Technology in the faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering