Story: Sewage, water and waste

Night-soil man

Night-soil man

Mr Hollander, the night-soil man for the Dunedin suburb of St Kilda, sits on his cart in 1912. Night-soil men played an important role for more than 60 years in New Zealand cities. People put their excrement out in buckets and, under cover of dark, the night-man would collect it and dump it at ‘manure depots’ on the city outskirts. Workers at the depots were meant to ensure that the excrement was buried or at least covered with dirt – but they didn’t always succeed. Night-men were not well paid, and lived in poorer parts of town.

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Toitū Otago Settlers Museum
Reference: 1989/268/13

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How to cite this page:

Christine Dann, 'Sewage, water and waste - Stinking cities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/24430/night-soil-man (accessed 18 August 2019)

Story by Christine Dann, published 11 Mar 2010