I'm in my small kitchen trying to clean up a hefty mess. Rubbish has been built up over time and its starting to to make my little space that I have quite unpleasant.
Normally I have no problem following a routine and taking out the trash. However, I'm always looking for processes that will help me speed up ordinary, mundane tasks.
Previously, I've thought about using garbage disposals to dispose of kitchen waste much more efficiently. However, I didn't really know much about them or how they work so I wanted to do a little more research to find it out if it will improve the small space that I have.
So, are garbage disposals worth it?
Installing a garbage disposals is worth it if you are looking for a highly convenient mechanism of disposing your food. It is much faster to dispose of food down the drain where it is grounded down than washing the dishes after a meal. Garbage disposals provide a great convenience for smaller spaces where composting might not be an option.
They provide a quick and sanitary way of getting rid of scraps of food. It is time saver for those who do not have the time to clean up after cooking or eating.
Contrary to popular belief, a lot of modern garbage disposal units generate little to no noise. This makes them a far more attractive option than the perceived stereotype of old fashioned noisy electric garbage disposals.
So, these food crushing devices are very handy come dinner-time. But I wanted to read a little more into them before making a solid conclusion.
Read on to find out more.
Are garbage disposals bad for the environment?
For some, migrating from their method of garbage disposal might not be worth it if there are further environment implications.
While convenience can be the ultimate goal, its important to know the full effects of what we are doing when using a waste management system.
So, are garbage disposals bad for the environment?
Some garbage disposals do use both water and electricity, however, they are actually considered to be significantly more environmentally friendly than just throwing away food into the trash.
This is due to the fact that when disposing of trash in the conventional manner, the waste will most likely end up in a landfill of some description. Waste in landfills produces methane during decomposition.
This is far from ideal as methane is considered up to twenty times more damaging to the air when compared to carbon dioxide.
The use of a garbage disposal will essentially avoid this whole process. It does this by grinding down the food and sending it into a wastewater system.
These systems are very well equipped to capture all sort of food particles. From this point, standard environment friendly waste treatment systems take place.
The collected waste can made into a fertilizer which standard for these types of food wastes.
The waste can also create bio-fuel to generate further energy. This gives the grounded up food that was shredded in the garbage disposal much more of an eco-friendly purpose than I had originally thought.
There are also some other considerations that came up during my research. If you are looking to be as eco friendly with a garbage disposal, you must know that they are not made to dispose of all foods. They are mainly used to grind down soft food particles.
Harder food such as gristle, bones, corn cobs, stones from fruits can possibly damage or cause a blockage.
Overall, from the research I've gathered., as long as your local water infrastructure supports the further treatment of food in the wastewater system then using a garbage disposal can be considered eco friendly.
It will not be as environmentally friendly as traditional eco friendly methods of disposal such as composting but it can still fit that billing if the wastewater system is available to convert food waste into energy.
I also found a food recovery hierarchy that the EPA published to help consumers on this very issue.
It gives a detailed pyramid representation of possible solutions for food waste.
At the top of it, the most eco-friendly option is reducing food waste.
It certainly provides an interesting overview of what should be prioritized when taking action to prevent and divert wasted food.
Do you need a plumber to install a garbage disposal?
If can safely consider a garbage disposal to be eco-friendly then perhaps we can move onto the next step.
So if you are in a similar situation to myself and you want to pull the trigger and install a garbage disposal unit, how exactly do you go about it?
Is a plumber needed for an installation?
Well, when looking to install a garbage disposal there are generally two types: aluminium and stainless steel. Ideally, you want to hire a plumber to install one of these types for you.
A one time installation of a garbage disposer is a long term investment. A typical unit's lifespan can last from 5-10 years this is why its important to get a professional plumber to take care of this early installation.
This has the potential to save you running into problems down the line with breakages and malfunctions. Simply install it as a once off and you should hopefully be able to forgot about any frequent maintenance fees.
A plumber can also advice on the correct type of garbage disposal needed as these comes in a wide range of options.
There are a number of features available, including power options, noise reduction and anti-jamming.
For a more detailed overview of how a garbage disposal works I found this video:
Are garbage disposals dangerous?
The idea of a garbage disposal decimating anything you put into it sounds like a dangerous concept. The idea of the blades swiveling at a high speed might instill fear into small kitchen owners like ourselves.
But if this fear warranted? I wanted to break through my own garbage disposals phobias and investigate whether or not this concern is legitimate.
It would seem that in general garbage disposals are misinterpreted as dangerous due to the sharp grinding blades that are built into them. But they don't seem to be as dangerous or harmful as they seem.
I was interested to find out that garbage disposals do not actually have sharp blades. Instead, they are usually built with blunt nubs which bash the food around forcing it through its bottom openings.
Any modern garbage disposal's today are incredibly ergonomic, it's unlikely that they would present danger due to their secure builds.
Within the inner working of a garbage disposal, the blades are of course sharp. and could potentially cause harm if left on a continuously.
But a bigger factor to be considered is the motor size. The bigger the motor the more power the garbage disposal possesses. This leads to an increased grinding intensity and a higher risk for a finger injury due to negligence.
However, with a garbage disposal with less power, any unlikely accidents should only lead to minor
My initial fears were eased after doing this research. At the end of the day, common sense prevails here. Ensuring that the disposal is off by using batch feed unit will result in not silly accidents.
It's important to supervise any children in these situations as they are more likely to accidentally interact with the garbage disposal without knowing what it really is.
Overall, products like garbage disposals act as a useful utility for those looking to manage their waste.
As someone who resides in a small apartment its an efficient way to minimize the amount of food waste in my kitchen.
However, products like these are just the beginning. With priorities shifting (and icecaps melting), we are going to see a lot more products on the market trying to combat the growing issue of waste disposal. Landfills are feeling the burden of huge levels of consumption from our society - although its not the most eco friendly we will always need alternative options like garbage disposals.