Garbage disposal is a trend these days. More and more people would rather throw leftover food into a garbage disposal, rather than sending them to the landfill. The general idea behind such an appliance is fairly simple to understand.
You open a lid, put the food inside, press a button and the food is pulverized into tiny pieces that will make it through your plumbing system. Such appliances are rated to last for years. They sound easy and convenient, but just like everything else in life, they are not perfect.
If you do not have one yet, understanding the pros and cons of garbage disposals can help you make an informed decision. While they do have lots of benefits, they also come with a few disadvantages that should be taken into consideration.
So, what do you need to know before purchasing garbage disposal?
Pros and Cons of Garbage disposals
Pros of Garbage disposals
Without a garbage disposal, chances are you will throw most of your food inside a bin. While most bins are hidden under a sink or covered with a lid, nasty odors can still spread around the house. Even if you take your bin outside, it does not mean that such odors will go away. In fact, if the weather is too hot, the food will rot and smell even worse.
With a garbage disposal, food is ground and sent out of your house. It will be gone before it starts rotting, so you can forget about those unpleasant odors.
Analyzing the pros and cons of garbage disposals will inevitably lead you to environmental effects as well. Getting rid of your own food leftovers will help the surroundings. There will be fewer gases released by trucks, not to mention the methane released by landfills.
Furthermore, most of this food will reach wastewater treatment factories, which will use it for energy.
More time for yourself
Without a garbage disposal, you will have to throw all the food in the garbage, then take it out at some point especially if there are plenty of leftovers after a family meal. With a garbage disposal, you can get rid of all the food in no time, run the garbage disposal for a few minutes, throw the dishes into your dishwasher and enjoy more time with your family without having to worry about the mess.
Long lasting machines
Make sure you know how to install a garbage disposal and it will last you for ages. Obviously, different brands and models come with different quality standards. Some units will last for five years, while others can support your household for over a decade. Based on the money you save for garbage and bin bags, the garbage disposal will prove to be cost-efficient too.
Apart from things that can be recycled, pretty much everything else goes inside the garbage disposal with a few exceptions, of course. In other words, there will be way less waste to get rid of. When there is less trash involved, you will also work less, not to mention using fewer bin bags. You use less paper and less plastic, which means there are fewer things to throw away.
A garbage disposal will reduce your trash, save you money and time.
Less pipe leaks
A bit of food will always go through the drain when doing dishes. There will be a few bits of rice here and there, some chopped vegetables, a bit of pasta, crumbs, and so on. Many of these things go down the drain and tend to clog it with time, causing leaks and expensive repairs.
A little attention to your garbage disposal will change everything though. Make sure you get rid of all the food you can throw in. Everything will be ground up. In other words, your leftovers will become a fine paste. There will be way less pressure on your pipes, while food is less likely to build up and clog them.
Simply put, a garbage disposal may also work on the overall maintenance of your piping system.
Money in your pocket
There are more reasons wherefore garbage disposals can help you save money. Not requiring plumbers too often is one of them. Then, this kind of system will protect your piping system, so there is less maintenance required too. You will spend less money on supplies and trash bags as well. With a reduced amount of trash, the trash service may also come cheaper.
Features, bells and whistles
Having so many options at your disposal will certainly help. Garbage disposal manufacturers push hard to make appliances more convenient than ever, so you can find all kinds of features to make your life easier. For example, some units come with automatic reverse modes, so they can clear jams without your help.
On the other hand, you can also find super powerful motors that will be able to grind small and medium bones too. Quick mount necks can add to how quickly you install the unit, while safety covers ensure no accidents can occur. For example, you do not want accidental activation before the disposal is closed.
Good choice of models
Knowing the pros and cons of garbage disposals can help you choose a unit suitable for your personal needs. The good news is there are plenty of options out there – make this decision with your convenience in mind, as well as the long-term maintenance. For example, continuous feed models allow you to feed the garbage disposal as it works, so the operation is much faster.
On the other hand, batch feed alternatives imply closing the lid first. It takes more time to get the job done, but it provides more safety as well, as it can prevent accidents. If you need help in choosing the best and the quietest garbage disposal, do read our best 5 quietest garbage disposal article.
Cons of Garbage Disposals
Considering the pros and cons of garbage disposals will inevitably bring in their use. Such appliances require careful use. While you can get rid of food, it does not mean that all the food can go in there. Throw everything in and you might end up with jams and clogs.
Some of the foods to keep away from your appliance include fatty foods like oil and butter, starchy foods like rice and pasta, fibrous foods like potato peels and banana peels, and hard materials. Some appliances can take small chicken bones though.
In other words, you cannot get rid of all the food on your plate. Sure, a few traces of pasta from a meal will not clog your garbage disposal right away, but throwing large amounts of it on a daily basis will eventually take you there.
How you run this appliance is just as important. Even if you get the best garbage disposal on the market, it does not mean that it will last forever if you fail to take care of it. You are supposed to turn the cold water on before using it, then leave it running as the garbage disposal gets rid of the food.
Stick to small pieces of food and let the water run for another half a minute once you are done, only to get rid of all the particles.
Maintenance and bad smells
Garbage disposals are not perfect. Even when you use such an appliance correctly, a few particles may still end up stuck inside. They will end up rotting and smelling – it is just part of the game.
At this point, you need to learn how to clean garbage disposals. Once a week, you should turn the power off, then clean everything. Start with the rubber ring, then scrub out the internal part. Grind a few ice cubes in the disposal once you are done – make sure they are made of lemon juice or vinegar, only to refresh your unit.
Clogs, jams, and breaks
Drop the wrong food into the garbage disposal and it might be alright. Do it too often and it will probably jam. Sometimes, resetting the unit will get the problem solved, but this is not always the case. There are more solutions to clear a clog – you can use hex keys, broom handles, or even pliers.
Even if you actually take good care of your appliance, such issues will still arise as it ages. Moreover, repairs are difficult and can be expensive. From many points of view, if an internal part breaks down, you will most likely need to replace the appliance.
Bottom line, understanding the pros and cons of garbage disposals will help you understand whether or not such an appliance is worth your money and time.
To most people, garbage disposal is an excellent appliance that will make their lives easier. To those concerned about maintenance and picking up specific types of food, it might look like garbage disposal are not really suitable. The truth is despite their few cons, garbage disposals can still save you time and money in the long run.