As a society we are still learning the skills of recycling and living sustainably. It has been within my lifetime that widespread recycling of some household waste has appeared. What we do with our personal waste is still a sensitive topic. Although human waste makes an excellent fertiliser (when properly treated:
http://modernfarmer.com/2014/07/stink-human-poop-fertilizer/) many are repulsed by the idea. New research opens up the possibility of another valuable excrement enterprise: mineral reclaimation. Even if you are told you have a heart of gold, your body will not absorb the precious metal (you're just a wonderful person!), instead metal rich particles pass right through the "system". This untapped reserve could be worth a lot of money; a previous study placed the value at $13 million per 1 million Americans
US researchers are investigating ways to extract the gold and precious metals from human faeces. The group identified gold in waste from American sewage treatment plants at levels which if found in rock could be worth mining.