The ability of a garbage disposal (or “disposer”) to grind up food scraps and flush them down the drain is a wonderful convenience in the modern kitchen, making meal preparation and cleanup easy and fast. Because they are so handy and relatively inexpensive and easy to install, they are extremely popular kitchen appliances.
From an environmental point of view, garbage disposals have pluses and minuses. They help minimize the amount of garbage that is delivered to landfills, but, in doing so, they require using significantly more water and energy, and they can strain septic systems and sewage treatment facilities. A good compromise is to compost food scraps whenever possible and use a disposer when not.
In this section of HomeTips, you will find helpful information for choosing a garbage disposal, as well as do-it-yourself guidance for installation, repairs, and care.
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