Eco-Friendly Garbage Disposals: Myths and Facts

Article written by Ryan Strite on July 7th, 2022 / Ryan is a husband, father, DIYer, homeowner, and general fan of a clean, good-smelling kitchen. All content comes to you from the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley.

Garbage disposals sometimes spark debate regarding their environmental impact. This article delves into how these kitchen devices affect our planet, separating fact from fiction. We'll explore their role in waste management, their actual water and energy usage, and the ways in which they can be a part of a more eco-conscious lifestyle. By the end of this article, you'll have a clearer understanding of where garbage disposals stand in the realm of eco-friendliness.

Read more: Best garbage disposals overall

Not all waste is created equal. Do garbage disposals help or hurt?

Understanding Garbage Disposals and the Environment

First, let's understand how garbage disposals impact the environment:

  • Waste Management: Garbage disposals grind up food scraps, which then travel through the plumbing. They end up at wastewater treatment plants where they can be turned into biosolids or biogas.
  • Reduced Landfill Waste: Using a disposal means fewer food scraps in the trash. This reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, where decomposing food releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

Myths and Facts about Eco-Friendly Garbage Disposals

Myth 1: Garbage Disposals Use a Lot of Water and Energy

  • Fact: Modern disposals are designed to be efficient. They use less water than you might think—about the same amount used in one toilet flush. Also, their energy use is relatively low, similar to that of a small kitchen appliance.

Myth 2: Disposals are Bad for Sewage Systems

  • Fact: In areas with modern sewage systems, disposals work well. They send food waste to wastewater treatment plants where it can be processed and repurposed.

Myth 3: Composting is Always Better

  • Fact: While composting is great, it's not always feasible for everyone. Disposals offer an alternative for managing food waste, especially in urban settings.

Choosing an Eco-Friendly Garbage Disposal

When shopping for an eco-friendly disposal, consider these features:

  • Efficiency: Look for models that are energy and water-efficient.
  • Grinding Capability: The better the grinding, the easier it is for treatment plants to process the waste.
  • Durability: A long-lasting disposal means less waste in terms of replacement and repair.

Here are a few of our top garbage disposal recommendations:





InSinkerator Evolution Compact

InSinkErator Evolution Compact

Waste King Legend Series Half HP

Waste King L-2600

Moen GXP50C

Moen GXP50C

Waste King L-1001

Waste King L-1001 Garbage Disposal

Best Practices for Using Your Garbage Disposal

To make the most of your eco-friendly disposal:

  • Run Cold Water: Use cold water while the disposal is running. It conserves energy and helps solidify grease and fats for better grinding.
  • Avoid Certain Materials: Don’t put hard or fibrous items (like bones or corn husks) in the disposal. They can damage the unit and are harder to process at treatment plants.
  • Regular Cleaning: Keep your disposal clean using eco-friendly cleaners to avoid harmful chemicals.

The Future of Eco-Friendly Disposals

Technology is always advancing. We can expect:

  • More Efficient Models: Future disposals will likely use even less water and energy.
  • Improved Grinding Technology: This will help reduce the strain on sewage systems and improve waste processing.
  • Smart Features: Like auto-shutoff to conserve water and energy.

Summary of Eco-Friendly Disposals Myths and Facts

Garbage disposals, when used correctly, can be a part of an eco-friendly kitchen. They reduce landfill waste and can help in the production of renewable energy. By choosing the right model and using it wisely, you can make a positive impact on the environment. Remember, every small step towards eco-friendliness counts!

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