Garbage Disposal Pros And Cons: Considerations For Homeowners

For those who have not yet installed a garbage disposal,  you might be considering adding one to your kitchen sink. A garbage disposal is not only a part of kitchen improvement but a convenient way to get rid of unsightly food scraps. In this article, we have researched the pros and cons of garbage disposals and go deeper into each topic as you read along.

Here are the pros and cons of a garbage disposal:


  • Convenient to use
  • Waste reduction
  • Flexible
  • Affordable


  • Prone to clogging and jams
  • Increased food waste

Whether you are looking to replace your old garbage disposal or want to purchase one for the first time for the benefit of your home, we got you covered. Keep on reading as you will learn more in this article, and we are excited to share information with you.

Hanoi / Vietnam - October 2019 : Modern Apartment Kitchen Interior Design with black colour mix with and wooden furniture. - Garbage Disposal Pros And Cons: Considerations For Homeowners

Pros and Cons of A Garbage Disposal

Maybe you can’t imagine how your kitchen would be without the ease of a garbage disposal. If you're wondering about installing a new unit or replacing an old one, here are some points that you need to consider.

Garbage Disposal under the modern sink, waste chopper concept


Convenient to use

With a garbage disposal in your kitchen, some food remains can easily be thrown directly into the sink rather than thrown into the trash can.

This can make your life easier and save time. You can also prevent the spread of foul odors and unnecessary food particles.

Waste reduction

Garbage Disposal under the modern sink, waste chopper concept

With the use of a garbage disposal, you reduce the waste around your kitchen sink.

You can promote waste reduction by separating bio-degradable and non-biodegradable materials. So if you want to place your waste in your kitchen sink, follow the proper recycling of items and food waste.


A garbage disposal is considered safe with most types of plumbing systems. This includes septic tanks and municipal sewers. If you are a homeowner, make sure your septic tank is maintained regularly and choose the right size.

Old municipal sewage systems might not handle garbage disposal properly. If you are living in an area with such conditions, check with your local waste authority before installing a new unit.


Another good thing about garbage disposals is that they do not cost that much. You can find one that suits your budget. If you have an idea of basic plumbing, you can install it yourself. If not, you can ask for the help of a professional plumber.

Moreover, a garbage disposal does not require regular replacement. As long as you know how to take care of the unit, it will last longer than you expect.


Prone to clogging and jams

Food waste disposer machine in sink in modern kitchen

Garbage disposals cannot handle all types of food. You might be confused about what items can be put down at the garbage disposal. Celery, banana peels, and asparagus are some of the fibrous foods that may cause a clog in your disposal.

Meat products, bones, skin, and all meat waste can clog the garbage disposal unit. They may damage the blade and produce a bad odor in the sink.

Pasta, rice, and potatoes cause a jam and clogging. Many starchy foods are enlarged when you put hot water on them, which can cause them to clog the disposal. Fats such as butter and lard can cause bad odors and may lead to a food jam.

When all of these types of foods are put down the drain, your garbage disposal can get clogged and jam.

A garbage disposal is not easy to repair, so this will cost you. If you are uncertain about the functionality of the unit, you should consider replacing it.

Increased food waste

Dirty sink in the kitchen with foam and scraps after washing dishes. Sewage clogging

Septic tanks and water treatment facilities accumulate food waste that is being thrown down drains. These food scraps will eventually turn into waste which may be difficult for a plumber to resolve.

They would need more chemicals and energy for the treatment process. The same problem would happen when the drain does not flow properly into the municipal water treatment facility.

Smelly Kitchen

If you don’t flush and clean the garbage disposal unit, the food waste will sit in it just like it sits in a trash can. It can make your kitchen stink.

You should clean the unit regularly and clear the drain by running cold water through it.

What To Do When You Don’t Have A Garbage Disposal?

If you don't have a garbage disposal, you can still dispose of your food scraps. Many people throw their garbage into a trashcan or compost pile, but it is helpful to know that food scraps will go down the drain using a garbage disposal.

Here are some tips for you to follow if you do not own a garbage disposal.

Use a filter

A strainer or filter is one of the most common kitchen tools. By making use of a filter, you can prevent clogging and jamming of food waste in your sink. When cleaning, you can use baking soda to help drain all the waste properly.

On the other hand, even when you are using a strainer, some bits of food and grease can make their way down the pipes. To prevent this from happening, you can flush the unit with baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

Check out this strainer on Amazon. 


Collect your fruit and vegetable scraps and then make compost.  This is an eco-friendly solution to help make the environment clean and green.

Schedule drain and pipe maintenance

Regular plumbing maintenance is your best option when you don’t have a garbage disposal. This will help you in the long run. Accidents sometimes happen, and all of the food scraps and oils can find their way to the drain.

Store-brought sink and drain cleaners are tempting, but some of these products might harm the pipes if overused.

For clogged pipes, do not hesitate to call a professional plumber for the right assistance. Always check the drains and pipes so you can do implementation when one needs repair or replacement.

Ways to a Good Garbage Disposal

Food waste left in a sink. Closeup

Now you know the pros and cons of having a garbage disposal unit. As a homeowner, you can follow some practices that will keep your appliance functioning well. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Clean the garbage disposal. Food waste is bound to clog the blades of your disposal, making the unit stop working. Fats and all the greasy stuff will solidify over time. To solve this issue, dislodge the food remains and use liquid soap to remove stains.

Check out this garbage disposal cleaner on Amazon. 

  • Ice cubes make it better. Running ice cubes through your disposal can harden the blades, thus making it easier to drain the waste.
  • Run it regularly. Do not let the garbage disposal sit idle for a long time, because it may clog with food waste. The waste can harden on the blades and solidify, which causes rust. By using the appliance regularly, you can extend its life and use it for a long time.

Final Words

You should consider the pros and cons when you want to install a garbage disposal in your home. Giving the unit extra care and maintenance can make it run reliably and last longer.

Do not put anything in the disposal unit that can give you issues in the future and lead to costly repairs. If you are unsure of what you are doing, call a professional.

Moreover, if you are not sure about having a garbage disposal unit in your home, you should ask a professional for advice so they can assist you with your needs.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may want to read these related posts:

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Stink? 

How Long Does A Garbage Disposal Last? 

What To Put Down A Garbage Disposal To Clean It (5 Suggestions)

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