Should You Get a Garbage Disposal? The Pros and Cons

Just because it is popular does not mean you should have it. This seems to be the thinking of some homeowners when it comes to garbage disposal units. For some modern homes that have the disposal built-in and attached to the kitchen sink drain can deliberate whether they would use it or not.

Obviously, each household will have its own unique circumstances that would merit using or not using the garbage disposal. To help you make your own decision, here are some pros and cons of garbage disposals.


Let us take a look first at the possible pros of using a garbage disposal in your home.

  • – Sanitary – in-sink disposals are known for delivering a quick and sanitary way of getting rid of food scraps. This is excellent if you have no time to clean up after cooking or eating, or there is simply not enough space to compost your food scraps.
  • – Convenience – one of the biggest reasons why homeowners would prefer to use a disposal. When properly operated with running water and flushed properly, it allows for the convenient handling of food scraps that eliminates the need to store trash until pickup day. There can be limitations imposed by the locality in terms of water usage and septic capacity. The convenience of disposals extends to easier and faster cleaning of plates.
  • – Odor – when you have a garbage disposal unit, the need to deal with odor from food scraps can be drastically cut down. This is because you do away with the scenario of food rotting in garbage cans and causing obnoxious odor. If the schedule of garbage pickup in your locality takes a long time, this translates to huge amount of food waste that can potentially rot. The foul smell may be enough to attract wild animals that will go through your garbage in search of discarded food.


There are likewise a couple of cons that you should be on the lookout for when it comes to garbage disposals.

  • – Clogging/Jamming – one of the biggest and irritating problems that many homeowners experience with disposals is their potential for clogging. Unfortunately, most of the time the clogging is caused by the negligence of the homeowners themselves. When grease, stringy vegetables, hard food, or expanding food is placed inside the disposal, the possibility of clogging greatly increases. This also can lead to waste of water.

    Essentially, disposals are not designed to handle all kind of food scraps. This is why it is important to be conscious of what goes into the unit. The stringy and fibrous food has a way of wrapping around the blades and preventing it from turning properly, thus resulting in a jammed unit. Meat and other hard products will eventually dull the blade making it difficult for the unit to properly cut through food scraps causing the clogging.

    Starchy food on the other hand is known to expand especially when subjected to hot water. This can cause it to tightly pack the drain pipe of the disposal causing it to clog and eventually leak. Repairs can be costly depending on the damage.

  • – Odor – in the same manner that disposals help prevent foul odor from food scraps, it can also be the cause of one. When not properly maintained, the disposal can allow food particles to stay along the blade and the inner lining causing it to rot inside the unit. This will emit a foul smell from the disposal, which fortunately can be resolved with the help of citrusy products or baking soda.
  • – Injury – one of the dangerous cons of having a garbage disposal is the possibility of injuries. This is especially true when the homeowner is careless or reckless; worse if there is a child in the house. Teaching everyone how to properly use the disposal can help avoid this problem. Investing in a unit with a magnetic cover is another way of guarding against potential injuries.

Should you decide to have a disposal installed contact Scott English Plumbing to make sure it is done correctly.