It's certainly true that you can have a sink and use it for its most common purposes without having a garbage disposal installed. However, it's becoming increasingly rare to see new kitchen construction go without them, just because it's a vastly more efficient and environmentally-friendly way to dispose of food waste.
Even smaller kitchens, in apartments and townhouses are regularly fitted with garbage disposals.
So if you're working a new kitchen project or you're doing any kind of a remodel, you'll need to decide:
Do I need a garbage disposal?
The short is that how you use your kitchen will determine whether a garbage disposal goes from simply being beneficial to being an actual need. Kitchens that serve a larger number of a people in a single household or that are used to prepare a lot of meals, are going to have a hard time getting along without a garbage disposal.
In other words, you need a garbage disposal if you create a lot of food waste. We would also say that if you prepare more than three meals per week from a given kitchen, that kitchen probably needs a garbage disposal.
What about smaller or less-used kitchens?
When deciding whether or not you need a garbage disposal, it's less about the size of your kitchen (or the size of the sink itself) and more about how you use your kitchen.
How often do you prepare meals at home?
What kind of food do you prepare?
You should also consider how big your family is or how many people live in your home. More people using a kitchen automatically means more food waste.
Thus, as the number of occupants increases, so does the need for a garbage disposal.
Even if your kitchen is small, we would recommend assessing need based on these other factors and not simply size.
Will a garbage disposal fit my sink?
Almost all of the best garbage disposal units on the market are made to fit most sinks. Of course, this will depend specifically on the sink you have and the garbage disposal you choose.
We would advise speaking with a general contractor or a plumber to confirm that your sink (or a sink you plan to buy) is ready to be fitted with a garbage disposal attachment.
A general contractor or plumber can usually do this job fairly quickly.
So, do you need a garbage disposal?
If you prepare a lot of meals or if you live in a home with a large family, we'd say it's a must-have part of any good kitchen.
But even if you live in an apartment and you don't use your kitchen as often, a garbage disposal can be extremely beneficial as it helps with waste management and makes it easier for you to deal with unwanted food.
For new construction and kitchen remodels, it's a no-brainer add-on, especially because they don't cost a lot procure.
AUTHOR: Ryan is a DIYer, homeowner, and general fan of a clean, good-smelling kitchen.