A giant, 250-metre “fatberg” of oil, fat and other solid waste blocking a main sewer under London is to be recycled into biofuel, Thames Water, the company working to remove it, said on Tuesday.
“The congealed mass under a street in east London’s White-chapel district will produce some 10,000 litres of biodiesel, enough to power 350 double-decker buses for one day.
Engineers have removed about one-third of the 130-tonne blob and expect to complete their “sewer war” against it early next month, the company said.
It said tankers full of oil and fat, recovered from the mass with high-powered jets, will be sent to a biofuel processing plant.“Other unflushable items such as baby wipe, nappies, cotton buds and sanitary products – which should never be flushed, will be disposed of,” it said.
“It may be a monster, but the White-chapel fatberg deserves a second chance,” Alex Saunders, Thames Water’s waste network manager said.
He said that it was the first time the company had tried recycling material from a hunk a sewer waste.
“We’ve therefore teamed up with leading waste to power firm Argent Energy to transform what was once an evil, gut-wrenching, rancid blob into pure green fuel,” Saunders said.
Thames Water agreed last week to send a cross-section of the record-breaking “fatberg” to the Museum of London, which said its exhibition would raise questions about contemporary urban life.
Several Twitter users proposed the names Donald or Trump after Thames Water appealed for suggestions.