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Reporter doing a story on human poop fertilizer handles a sample barehanded

It is not uncommon for an employer to hire someone who “isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty.” No can ever accuse KSDK reporter Elizabeth Matthews of being afraid of getting her hands dirty. The KSDK reporter did a piece on Tuesday about an Illinois farmer who fertilizes his crops with human feces.

Reporter Elizabeth Matthews handles a sample of human poop fertilizer. She said it doesn't smell too good.
Reporter Elizabeth Matthews handles a sample of human poop fertilizer. She said it doesn't smell too good.
KSDK Facebook page

During the piece, Matthews picked up some feces with her hands and commented that it didn’t smell too good. The story reported that neighbors are upset about the horrific smell. Farmer Shane Reinneck said he knows it smells putrid, but it is essential to his crops.

He said he has been used the fertilizer for 11 years. The sewage sludge looks like potting soil and arrives in a dry form. A local wastewater treatment facility provides the sludge. Reinneck said he has always followed the law when using the fertilizer.

One neighbor said he can smell the fertilizer from more than a mile away, and the stench forces him to keep his windows closed for days at a time. Reinneck said the product is beneficial and he will continue to use it. Watch the video of Matthews reporting on the story.