London fatberg has a silver lining

Thames Water last week confirmed that the “monster” 130-tonne fatberg found lurking in the sewers of Whitechapel this month will be converted into around 10,000 litres of biodiesel. Thames will work with Argent Energy to transform “what was once an evil, gut-wrenching, rancid blob into pure green fuel” – sufficient to power 350 double-decker Routemasters.

This will not only reduce the amount of the mass needing to be sent to landfill or reprocessed by Thames, but will also count towards the company’s target to self-generate 33 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.But perhaps the bigger prize, for the water companies and authorities around the world, is the bumper awareness-raising work the fatberg and Thames’ proactive communications about it have achieved.

The story has been covered around the world as well as by major UK media outlets, bringing the issue of fats, oils, greases and unflushables to the attention of millions.