Search icon


23rd Mar 2015

Filthy rich: British poo could be worth £510m

How dirty would you get for that kind of money?


As many northerners can tell you: “Where there’s muck, there’s brass” and now something similar can be said about poo in general.

“Where there’s sh*te, there’s gold”, if you will.

Boffins have discovered that precious metals like gold, silver and platinum can be extracted from sewage to prevent millions being literally flushed down the bog.

Rooting around in human sh*t doesn’t seem like the cleanest way to make a fortune, but the figures show it could be amazingly lucrative.

An eight year (amazingly stinky we assume) research project by the the US Geological Survey found that levels of precious metals found in poop were comparable to those found in some commercial mines. For example, mining all the turds in the UK could produce about £510 million worth of waste metals, annually.

‘Why is everyone crapping gold and silver?’ we hear you cry.

It’s surprisingly simple: trace amounts of the valuable metals are found in shampoos, make-up and even clothes.

Flakes of gold and silver can be found in fancy food and drink, too. Jewelry that gets flushed into the system would also add to the hoard, as would metal particles from cutlery and medical tools.

It’s probably not worth panning through your own poos, in fairness, but if you were to sort through a whole streets-worth…