Using a chamber pot or privy is often the last thought anyone gives to their biological waste, but even in the most advanced cities, it has to go somewhere. Enter the Waste Reclaimers. Known by different names depending on the culture, regional language, or even neighborhood, theirs is a thankless and largely invisible role: to clean up after people.
Little knowledge or skill is required to become a waste reclaimer. The only real qualification is to be strong enough to shovel or pull carts and to have enough fortitude to spend one's waking hours surrounded by foul, noxious odors of biological waste. Certain municipalities, such as Hundgard where gelatinous cubes and other oozes are used, have advanced methods of waste reclamation that require certain knowledge and skill.
Considered to be one of the lowest rungs of public service, there are many routes of advancement into other career paths. Often a placement of the dull or dim-witted, few leave the role once they take it.
Payment & Reimbursement
Remuneration varies wildly between municipalities and, in some cases, between neighborhoods within a settlement. Some high-class cities will pay the workers who service the nobles' homes quite well while paying the workers in the common areas as low as possible.
Cleaning waste from public gutters, streets, or sewer systems to reduce odors and the risk of disease(s).
Largely invisible to society, those who work in waste reclamation are often shunned by their contemporaries due to the pervasive odors that cling to them no matter how many times they bathe. With no real benefit, the role is often relegated to indentured servitude, public service in lieu of incarceration, or by those who have limited mental capacity.
Most workers in waste reclamation utilize shovels, rakes, and similar implements to load carts lined with burlap. Laden with waste, they dispose of their cargo in designated places (typically a town dump, or a midden pit, or something similar). In Hundgard, workers coax various oozes through the tunnels beneath the city to clean and destroy any waste.
While the setting varies between municipalities, the typical worker travels between homes collecting chamber pots and emptying privy pits. Others roam the streets clearing waste disposed of in gutters and in runoff channels.
Dangers & Hazards
Most workers will face at least one bout of filth fever in their career, if not recurring cases. Other hazards include infection, nausea, diarrhea, and other diseases. Due to their proximity to biological waste, workers often find themselves at the center of plague outbreaks.