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Myth Grinding: The Truth About Garbage Disposals

COMMUNITY CENTERClean Water & WaterwaysGreen Homes & BusinessesApr 25, 2012Katie Cullipher

Author: Katie Cullipher

It’s time to play a little game called “Myth Grinders.” Take a moment to determine what is fact vs. fiction when it comes to garbage disposals and let us know how you do!

Truth or Myth? Garbage disposals can lead to clogged pipes.
This is TRUE! Garbage disposals can break up nearly any organic material you put down them. But that’s all they do — they break things apart into smaller pieces. When these substances are washed down the drain, they cling to pipe walls and build up over time causing blockages.

Truth or Myth? Using a garbage disposal is an environmentally friendly way to get rid of kitchen scraps.
This is a MYTH! The problem begins on the other side of the connection where food leaves the blades and enters your plumbing on its way to the sanitary sewer system. This system is designed to manage the flow of wastewater exiting your home, not the scraps and shreds of food leftover on your dinner plates. When these substances are washed down the drain, they build up over time blocking the flow of wastewater. This can lead to sewer backups into homes, onto streets, down storm drains and into local waterways. This is bad for the environment, and a threat to public health.

So, how did you do? Whether you knew what was fact vs. fiction or not, here’s the real truth: the best way to protect your pipes and prevent costly blockages and backups is simply to skip the garbage disposal and always be mindful of what you wash down the drain.  Use a strainer in your sink to catch any food particles that attempt to escape and throw the scraps collected into the trash or compost bin. It’s an easy way to help save the environment from the threat of harmful sanitary sewer overflows and save yourself the expense of having to call a plumber to fix a clog! Everybody wins on this game show!