Get us in your inbox


Thames Water is turning the Whitechapel fatberg into renewable energy

James Manning
Written by
James Manning

Last week, the biggest fatberg on record was discovered in a Whitechapel sewer. The 130-tonne mass of cooking fat, oil, wet wipes, nappies and other crap had set as hard as concrete and stretched for 250m beneath the streets of east London. Disgusting? Sure. But it turns out that this stomach-turning story will have a happy ending.

Thames Water, which is currently blasting the fatberg with high-pressure hoses and pumping it out of the sewer, now plans to turn it into environmentally friendly biodiesel. ‘Even though they are our worst enemy, and we want them dead completely,’ a company spokesman says, ‘bringing fatbergs back to life when we do find them in the form of biodiesel is a far better solution for everyone.’

Once the ‘evil, gut-wrenching, rancid blob’ has been sifted for horrible things you shouldn’t flush, it will end up producing enough energy to power 350 Routemasters for a day. So everyone’s a winner… except the Museum of London, which was hoping to turn a slice of the fatberg into London’s grossest tourist attraction. Maybe next time, eh?

Remember when a fatberg saved a man’s wedding ring?

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news


      The best things in life are free.

      Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

      Loading animation
      Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

      🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

      Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!