Fatbergs: how 'flushable' wet wipes have created an environmental catastrophe

Fatbergs, caused by an entangled mess of wet wipes ‘mortared together’ by fats, oils and grease to form rock-hard material, are creating a ‘real problem with blockages in the pipes’, according to Sydney Water’s Peter Hadfield. At a single Sydney Water site at Malabar, six dry tonnes of wipes are collected every day. ‘People might think it’s OK just to pour a little bit of oil down their sink or to flush a couple of wipes during the day but when you’ve got 5 million people living in your city, collectively that causes a major problem,’ says Hadfield, who is part of the ‘Keep Wipes out of Pipes’ action group. The Guardian went along to Malabar to take a look.

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‘They pick up excrement and ball into dark nuggets’: the fatbergs clogging Sydney sewers ►

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