Informational Guide

Pros & Cons Of Garbage Disposal

In this guide, we discuss the pros and cons of garbage disposal and if they’re worth it.

by Josh Mitchell

A garbage disposal is a tool that goes on the underside of the sink with a design to collect waste from food, grinding it up before it goes down the sink. This can make cleaning up the kitchen a breeze while ensuring that no large pieces of food will go down the drain and clog things up.

If you are trying to figure out whether to add a garbage disposal to your home, knowing the pros and cons of garbage disposals can help. Our guide will help you to determine if a garbage disposal is the right option for you.  

Many homes will benefit from having a garbage disposal present. They can make life more convenient and will make cleaning up the house easier than ever before. But is having a garbage disposal worth all the work that comes with it? 

First, you need to consider how often you cook meals at home. Those who prepare and cook the food and then eat it will get the most benefit out of these devices. The garbage disposal can make cleanup and sanitizing the area so much easier than before.  

The number of people in your home will make a difference too. The more people in the area, the more use you will get out of the garbage disposal. If only one person lives in the home, then adding one in will not be nearly as beneficial. With roommates or a large family, the garbage disposal is a good idea.  

If you live in a smaller apartment, you may want to have a garbage disposal. Having more food in the trash can in that small area can be un-appetizing to work with. Those who live in the country or have more space may not have to worry about that problem.  

Families often consider a garbage disposal. This helps them make sure that they can get all the food chopped up, especially if the kids are throwing food down the sink. Cleanup is a lot faster when you have the disposal too, which is always a benefit with kids. 

The cost is often the most significant determinant on getting the disposal and whether it is worth it or not. If the cost of the garbage disposal is really expensive due to the type you choose or the way your sink is laid out, then it may be a good idea to forego getting this device. If you can get a disposal for a reasonable price, then adding one is a good idea.  

person putting food waste down a garbage disposal

Pros & Cons Of Garbage Disposals 

Garbage disposals are a popular option to use when it comes to taking care of your home and getting cleanup done in no time. The homeowner can just add the food down the sink, chop it up, and it will go down the drain. This can keep the home clean and helps keep all of the bugs out of the house too.  

There are some benefits and negatives of choosing a garbage disposal for your home. Some of each include: 

The Good 
  • Saves time 
  • Friendly to the environment 
  • Reduces smells in the kitchen 
  • Fewer issues with the pipes 
  • Lasts a long time 
The Bad 
  • Expensive Upfront 
  • Could be dangerous with children 
  • Can clog quickly 

Benefits Of Having A Garbage Disposal In Your Kitchen

Saves Time

One of the biggest benefits of using a garbage disposal is that it will help you save time. Instead of worrying about throwing the food out and the mess it will make, you can throw the food down the sink as you clean the plate. Then use the disposal to make sure that the food is chopped up and washed away.  

Environmentally Friendly 

With a garbage disposal, less food will end up in the landfill. This will save space and can make a garbage disposal better for the environment. Just use the disposal well, and it can last a long time, helping you to have an environmentally friendly way to get rid of the food in your home.  

Reduces Smells in the Kitchen 

Many homeowners choose to save money on the garbage disposal and will decide to throw the food in the garbage. This is one method to use, but it could result in dirty and smelly food in the trash can that even attracts pests. This will stink up the whole home and is not much fun for anyone. With a garbage disposal, the food can go right down the drain, keeping the house smelling better.  

Fewer Pipe Leaks 

Without a garbage disposal, putting any food waste down your sink will end up ruining your pipes. Large amounts of food can get stuck in the pipes and will clog the water that goes through. Without cleaning this out, the pipes may break and start to leak. This can cost you more money than it is worth. Consider a garbage disposal to protect your pipes.  

Lasts a Long Time 

When the garbage disposal is maintained, it will last a long time. This can make it a good waste solution for the whole home. You can get rid of some of the food you do not need, and you do not need to keep smelly food around the kitchen all the time. This can keep the home sanitized and gets the kitchen cleaned up in no time.  

moen garbage disposal under kitchen sink

Negatives Of Garbage Disposals In the Home

While there are a lot of benefits to choosing a garbage disposal for your home, all homeowners need to consider some of the reasons that a garbage disposal may not be the best option for them. Some of the negatives of a garbage disposal in the home include: 

Can Clog Quickly 

Homeowners need to be careful about how big of items they are throwing down the garbage disposal. If they are not careful, it can clog up the disposal and the pipes. Make the pieces manageable and use the disposal a lot to help minimize this issue. If you experience a clogged garbage disposal, make sure to unclog it immediately to prevent further damage.

High Cost Upfront 

When you first purchase the garbage disposal, it may be a large upfront cost. You will need to purchase the disposal, and you need to hire someone to come and install it for you. These costs can scare off some people from getting the garbage disposal.  

Potentially Dangerous 

When the disposal is not used correctly, it can be dangerous. Make sure that you do not leave spoons and forks inside the disposal and keep your hand out of the way if it is on. Teach children how to use the garbage disposal correctly to be safe.  

insinkerator garbage disposal top view in a sink with dishes

Considering Buying A Garbage Disposal? (Things You Should Know First)

Choosing a garbage disposal can be a great option to help you keep your home clean and get the work done quickly. But before you choose one for your needs, you need to be prepared on how to use it. Some of the things to consider before choosing a garbage disposal include: 

Power Output

The more people in the home, the more power you need for a garbage disposal. This will help break up all of the food that you need within the unit, while also keeping the noise to a minimum.  

Consider the Dishwasher 

If you have a dishwasher in place, you will need to add another link to the garbage disposal, which requires some additional steps. You will need to consider how to get this installed well for the best results. Some dishwashers come with garbage disposals, so ensure you check this before buying.

Kids & Safety 

Make sure that you feel comfortable having the kids around the garbage disposal. You do not want them to get hurt when the unit is on, but this is easy to do when you aren't looking. If you are not comfortable with this, then wait to put the unit in, or consider purchasing a batch garbage disposal, which will only work when a special cover is placed over the top. 

The Brand 

Choose a brand that is durable and will last a long time. You do not want to spend more than necessary on the disposal and then find out that it will break shortly after. Of course, the price is an important point, but the quality is something you should consider first.  

Our favorite garbage disposal brands include Insinkerator, Moen, and Waste King.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long do food disposal systems last?

With proper maintenance and care, the garbage disposal will last for 25 years or longer. This can help justify the cost of adding a disposal to your home. You need to pick one with a strong blade and motor for the best results. On average, you can expect your disposal to last around 10 years.  

Are garbage disposals safe? 

Garbage disposals are safe for your septic tank. Many worry that using the garbage disposal is bad for their system, but it actually will help grind up the food and help it go through the septic system without a problem. As for safety in the home, these are safe to use when done properly.  

Are garbage disposals hard to install? 

If you have never done a garbage disposal install, they can seem complicated. You will need to learn where all the parts are and make sure you get it done well. With a bit of practice, you will get it down and will find that installing it is easy to do.  

Are plumbers required to replace garbage disposals? 

It is best to call a plumber to take care of the garbage disposal. This will get the issue fixed quickly and will be better than you ruining the unit. However, it is usually not required. You can replace a garbage disposal yourself with a bit of time and patience. 


Conclusion

A garbage disposal is worth it in most situations for families who want to make the cleanup of the kitchen a little bit easier. Consider the right type of garbage disposal and look at the pros and cons to pick the right one for you.  

Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.

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