I've been reading a book about poop and pee, and let me tell you, it's fascinating. The Big Necessity, by Rose George, covers the world of human waste from the high-end, built-in bidet with blow-dryers, heated-seat robo-toilets of Japan, to the hand-collection of excrement due to open defecation that happens in undeveloped parts of the world. And everything in between.
Now, if you use a flush toilet like I do, you may think it's simple. Everyone just needs to do what we do. It's modern, efficient, clean and sanitary. Our senses are not assaulted by foul smells and sights. But modern is probably not a fair description. Most western urban sewers were built a long time ago, and have a hard time keeping up with the growth of our cities. Or they don't work during sudden severe rains -- and end up overflowing raw sewage into rivers, lakes and oceans. This happens in Portland on a regular basis. Surprisingly, it's not really the poop that is the bane of the sewer workers' existence: it's fat and Q-tips and liquid concrete and grenades. The ignorance of "civilized" people throwing everything down the toilet and just flushing it "away." Before I move on, I want to underscore that fat from residential cooking and especially restaurants going down the drains is especially bad because it builds up in sewer pipes, has to be cleared by hand and can cost millions of dollars.