Do garbage disposals work? (are garbage disposals worth it)

Moen Garbage Disposal

If you found your way to this page, you're probably wondering about how useful a garbage disposal might be in your situation and whether or not it would actually work. That question might take the form of any of the following variations:

  • Do garbage disposals work?
  • Are garbage disposals worth it?
  • Will a garbage disposal really help?

In this article I'm going to answer these basic questions that will help you decide whether or not you need a garbage disposal and how much it could potentially improve your quality of life and overall convenience. 

Simply put: This article will help you determine whether or not investing in one would work for you in your situation.

Do garbage disposals work?

Before we answer this question, it's important to define exactly what we mean when we talk about a garbage disposal "working." In order for a disposal to be effective, it only needs to do one thing: Quickly and efficiently remove the food waste from your home via the sink and plumbing system.

Garbage disposals work by grinding up food into small bits where they're then flushed out your plumbing system along with water.

Alternatives to a garbage disposal include the following:

The problem with these methods is that none of them get food waste out of your home quickly. Food waste is similar to sewage in that it decomposes in a short time and causes your home to smell bad. Just as we have a method to quickly remove human waste, so should we have a method to quickly dispose of food waste that doesn't get eaten and can't be saved.

Garbage disposals that are strong enough to handle the food waste you put in them (most can handle anything that isn't hard like bones or fruit pits) are extremely effective at getting food waste quickly out of your home.

In that respect, they absolutely work.

Will a garbage disposal help?

While we've established that garbage disposals can quickly remove food waste from your home, we haven't yet addressed the question of whether or not you really need one. Maybe you already do some kind of backyard composting or you don't make a lot of food waste. These and other factors can contribute to whether or not you're in a living situation where a garbage disposal could be a significant need.

For example, if you live somewhere that you don't have a ton of property, you don't own a garden, yet you cook at home a lot, that's a great situation for a garbage disposal.

Here's a quick list of factors that can increase the need for a garbage disposal:

  • You live in a place that uses city water instead of a well or cistern
  • You have less than two acres of land
  • You cook at home a lot
  • You're often bothered by the smell of your indoor (or outdoor) garbage cans

To be clear, almost any home can benefit from a garbage disposal, but these scenarios in particular are indicators that you would get more value out of a garbage disposal than the average person.

Are garbage disposals worth it?

Ultimately, a garbage disposal makes your home cleaner, better smelling, and adds a ton of convenience to the process of cleaning up a kitchen and cleaning your sink. This is especially helpful if you have a nice farmhouse sink that you want to keep clean.

If any of these things are important to you, a garbage disposal is definitely worth the investment, and - what's more - they're cheaper than you might think.

Affordable Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are simple to operate, quick to install (can be done either DIY-style or by a contractor), and are far more affordable than most people realize.

Feel free to browse our list of best garbage disposal recommendations for some of the highest-value options. If you still have questions, refer to our list of additional garbage disposal resources below.

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