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The Kitchen Sink Garbage Disposal (guest author)

I remember very well the first time I saw a kitchen sink garbage disposal. I was watching an American TV show. A dramatic scene showed two members of opposed gangs. Random bad guy 1 was threatening random bag guy 2 that he would shred his hand in the kitchen sink garbage disposal if the money didn’t appear. Of course, the money did appear immediately! Who wouldn’t… Garbage disposals can be scary.

Let's dig a bit

There’s smart thinking behind kitchen sink garbage disposals

Garbage disposals were invented in the USA and became very popular in the 40's. They now can be found everywhere. I still haven’t seen a kitchen in the USA without one of these little gadgets.

A garbage disposal is basically an electric motor with sharp blades installed right after the sink’s drain. There’s usually a switch on the wall to turn the unit on and off. Try not to get confused. A few years after moving to the US, I sometimes still get scared at night trying to turn the light on and instead turning on the garbage disposal. That loud ‘sssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!’ definitely wakes you up!

Garbage disposals main use is to shred food scraps so that they can flow nice and smoothly through the city’s sewer system as they are made out of more than 70% water. By shredding and flushing them through the sewer system, it avoids sitting in your regular trash bin avoiding the smell and reducing by 20% your trash quantities. Plus it can be “recycled” if the wastewater plant is equipped with a biogas recovery system and reuse the nutriments as fertilizers. Sounds good right ?

Making an informed buy

By now you should be convinced about the benefits of garbage disposal units. Let’s imagine that you’re heading to your home improvement store to buy one. Here are the most important features to look at according to downthesink.com, a website that specializes in garbage disposals:

  • Continuous Feed vs Batch Feed –Most people will opt with a continuous-feed garbage disposal, but if you’re looking for a little more safety the batch-feed models are a better choice

  • Grind Stages –Basically, the more grind stages your disposer has, the finer the waste will be. Your choice should depend on what type of waste you want to get rid of

  • Noise –I can feel your eyes light up at this section. Noise is a massive issue for a lot of people, so make sure to check if your desired food waste disposer has sufficient insulation

A dirty little secret: garbage disposals get clogged

A garbage disposal are solving major personal and environmental issues, but there’s a downside to them. A dark side that you should know: garbage disposals get clogged. I found a philosophical analogy to this issue. If you try to ignore a clogged garbage disposal, as most problems in life, it will end up stinking. Clogged garbage disposal units literally stink.

And well, you don’t want your kitchen to stink, do you? Don’t worry, I did the homework. Here are eight thinks that don’t get along with garbage disposal units:

  • Bones

  • Celery

  • Coffee grounds

  • Egg shells

  • Fruit pits

  • Grease

  • Pasta

  • Potato peels

Additionally, to reduce the chances of your unit getting clogged, manufacturers recommend to always use garbage disposals with running water.

So based on that

Garbage disposals work behind the scenes. They won’t shine in your kitchen as much as your huge stainless-steel double-door ice-making fridge does, but they are convenient, reliable and have a positive impact on the environment. Let’s show some respect for these little fellas!

Down the sink – Best 2018 garbage disposals


Wikipedia – Garbage disposal unit

Delish – Things that should never put on your garbage disposal