Considering not installing a Garbage Disposer?

murphysfNovember 1, 2012


I currently have a garbage disposer attached to my kitchen sink. I will soon be upgrading the counter tops and installing a new sink.

While talking with a co worker today he mentioned that when he re did his kitchen he didn�t bother installing a garbage disposal.

So I am at a crossroads, which was should I go with my upgrade?

We compost everything possible. We have a bin on the kitchen counter and we buy the compostable small bags from Costco. When bags get full we put them in the freezer in the garage and then weekly put them into the large compost bin for our weekly garbage / recycling pickup. The waste company provides three big (wheels) bins, (garbage, compost, recycling)

I just called my wife and briefly mentioned to her to think about the idea of not having a garbage disposal, her first response was that we could do without one then she mentioned getting rid of soups that she makes would be a bit more difficult, she would have to filter them. This was just a brief 30 seconds phone conversation she will think about it more.

I actually purchase a garbage disposal (I can always return it) and was planning on putting on in, now I am thinking of going without it however I can go either way.

Just wondering what the pros and cons are that I might be missing


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I would not ever be without my disposal. I do not like dealing with smelly trash or what ever you call it. When you sell, it will be a turn off to the new buyer if the sink set up does not accommodate a disposal. It would cost a great deal to rearrange it.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:11PM
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I use mine like your wife mentioned, for soups and more liquid stuff. And yes, it's a resale issue, I'd insist on having one, even tho I don't use it a lot.

I cannot think of a single reason not to install it, unless money is an extreme issue.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:25PM
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I like mine, but don't think it's a big deal either way.

If you don't use it much, then why put one in. As to disposing of soups? (well, first of all why not eat them or freeze the leftovers)--it's not a big deal--all your wife or you have to do is set a collander in the sink, pour in the soup, and dispose of the solids that are left. It's not like it's a big hassle either way.

Resale? a garbage disposal is nice to have, but I don't think anyone is going to consider a $200 appliance a deal-breaker if they love the house otherwise. Many won't even think to look for one, really. And--if you decide to--you could always install a cheap one when you decide to sell. Maybe discuss with your installer, if it would be possible to align things so it would be easy to install one at a later date if you change your mind. Personally, while I love having a disposal, myself, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a house without one, IF the house was otherwise perfect--a disposal is such a small thing when it comes to a house purchase. And there are a lot of people who DON'T like them, don't want them--so they'd be very happy.

Why don't you informally keep track of things for a week or so and see how much you really do use the unit. If it's rarely, then go ahead with your plans and skip the disposal.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 9:33AM
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We did not put one back in after our remodel. They aren't really necessary. We compost just about everything that needs to be. Bones and other things that are not compostable go into the trash where they belong, not down the pipes smelling up the kitchen and clogging pipes. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 6:19AM
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We had a new sink installed and I hesitated having the disposal reinstalled. The only reason I did was because it was still in working condition (since we only run it once a week with NOTHING in it to keep it in working condition), and when you go to resell a house, it's expected in the kitchen. Otherwise, I would never own one. What doesn't go into the composter goes into the garbage.

As NancyLouise mentioned, people often misuse disposals, and according to our plumber, as well (which is good for his business). As an example, the people next door found out you can't stuff a loaf of bread down them, nor corn cobs!!!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:12AM
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It's not the cost of the disposal but the cost of rearranging the sinks if it won't accommodate one. I would rather give up my dishwasher than my disposal. I have never understood people not using their disposal like the book said. The instructions included breaking up corn cobs and putting them down it. I did not go that far, nor did I put chicken legs in them because I always had to fish out the grizzle on the knees. I put almost everything down the disposal and never had a problem with that. If you just put soups and thin stuff down it save the $200 and put it down the toilet.

My first husband was a plumber and he said the most important thing to using a disposal is run it a short time, if running a lot of stuff down it, turn it off then back on so the stuff on the sides will fall down. Run the cold water a long time to get it out of the trap and into the sink line.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:13AM
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Our previous two homes had septic systems so we did not have a garbage disposal. It was not big deal and I did not miss that device.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to use it more. If it gets icky, run some ice cubes through it. That cleans it well. Don't have one here and don't think about it much, but used it a lot when I lived in an apartment where I didn't compost.

We give most bones and food that has been cooked with meat to our dog, and compost almost everything else, but the bits that accidentally fall in the sink or rinse off of plates not scraped too well (and then have to be fished back out) are enough to make me occasionally miss having one.

OTOH, no "hidden" silverware has been damaged here.

I agree that the toilet is a good alternative for chunky liquids you need to dispose of that you don't want to compost or feed to animals.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:52PM
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