Question Regarding Garbage Disposals

skycladMay 7, 2013

Well, one of the wonderful things about forums are their anonymity........and my "significant other" and I have had disagreements about what you can and cannot put into a garbage disposal. I tend to side with the idea of being able to put small amounts of food items, including coffee grounds that are wet (how much softer can something get?) without it hurting the disposal. My partner disagrees.. So, with this in mind, it was an interesting twist to hear a friend say the other day that food items, etc. are restrictive ONLY if you have a septic tank. Is that the case? I'm wondering everyone's thoughts on this subject.........and if I'm wrong, I'll modify my habits/actions. I don't want to be the cause of anything burning up, etc...
Thanks in advance for all replies...!

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I try not to wash any solid matter down the drain, using the disposal only for the small amount that gets away from me.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Some stuff's not good for the disposal (not easily broken down or risks damage to the unit) and other stuff's not good for the plumbing or sewage system.

Not good for disposal - a large volume of anything at one time, stringy plant waste (like celery, corn silks and husks or banana peels), hard stuff (fruit pits, meat bones)

Not good for plumbing - coffee grounds (acts like dirt/sand to create blockages in the pipes), grease/oil.

If on a septic system, I'd add to the list stuff that doesn't break down (like egg shells). If in an old house, I'd further limit the volume of material so as to not risk clogging the drain system.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:10AM
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We have an old house with galvanized pipes. I try to be gentle. Helps our house system as well as the environment. But that said, I don't spend a huge effort - there is a balance somewhere - I do the best I can and don't lose sleep when for one reason or another stuff ends up needing to be processed by the GD. That is what it's there for.

I also compost so I am disappointed when something goes down the drain that could have ended up in my compost and garden.

Reading the newspaper, I think the time is coming when households will be REQUIRED to compost though services are developing that will pick up material that is suitable for composts if you don't want to maintain your own pile. Might as well start getting used to it.

p.s. In case you're not aware, wet/used coffee grounds are great for keeping fire ants under control. It doesn't kill them but they don't like it and will move on - takes a day or two but great non-toxic way to deal with a real annoyance if you've ever had them take up residence in your yard. It worked for us but maybe not everybody.

This post was edited by elphaba on Mon, May 13, 13 at 0:00

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:03PM
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Also depends on what disposer you have, very few made
today have undercutters, with those, you can put just about anything down it. It is available in high priced models like
Viking and top line models from Waste King & ISE,look for
at least 3/4 horsepower.
40 and 50 years ago, almost all disposers were powerfull & had undercutters
and you could put almost anything in them and they were
advertised as such.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:58AM
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