One way of reducing the amount of garbage sent out to landfills and waste management facilities is with the kitchen’s garbage disposal unit. This small unit fitted to the kitchen sink is designed to grind up food scraps into tiny fragments that can then drain easily through pipes and into the sewer or homes septic tank. But, can any kind of garbage be passed through the garbage disposal? No, but let’s see why and what should never go into the unit.
There are many items that will easily damage a garbage disposal unit, not to mention cause problems to a septic system, if you have one. The garbage disposal is designed solely for food items, so be careful of things like bottle caps and aluminum foil etc. which can easily find themselves in the sink. Some other items that are bad for the unit are grease, oil or chemicals. Not all food items are suitable for a garbage disposal unit either. Because the unit uses rotating blades to grind up food, we can see why things like meat bones would be a bad idea as they could damage the blades. Fibrous food scraps like potato peels and corn husks can clog up the unit, so if you decide to place these items down there, only do it in small amounts. Keep the water running for a few seconds after you switch off the unit as well.
Yes, using a garbage disposal unit only for what it is intended for will help prolong the life of the unit and reduce the need for extra maintenance.
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Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL