Pros and Cons of Having A Garbage Disposal

First created back in 1927, these units have slowly grown in popularity until they practically became a necessity throughout the United States, despite its few design and technology upgrades. 

But, just because garbage disposals are popular today doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your condition. What are some of the pros and cons of garbage disposal units that can help you in your kitchen?

We understand that each homeowner has their own conditions and circumstances that can affect how they use their disposal units if they do at all.

No one wants to spend money on something their family isn’t going to use. So, to help you make a decision yourself, we’ve included some of the most important pros and cons of garbage disposal units that you should know. 

Once you’ve made your choice to install a new garbage disposal or if you want to install another system, call our team for quick and reliable help.

What Are Some of the Benefits of a Garbage Disposal in Your Kitchen?

Though the convenience of being able to rinse off bits of food scraps into the sink is a key benefit to garbage disposals, there are lots of other positive aspects that you might find, including what we’ve listed here:

Your Drains and Pipes Are Protected

One of the many garbage disposal benefits is its ability to protect your pipes. The main way a garbage disposal works is by spinning an impeller “blade” or plate, forcing the food scraps to hit the walls of the unit’s grinding chamber. This breaks the scraps into tiny pieces that are then washed away into the drain lines through openings in the chamber. The entire process makes it so that the tiny food bits can’t stick to the pipes. 

Garbage Disposals are Relatively Eco-Friendly

While this can be weighed differently in the pros and cons of garbage disposal units, having a garbage disposal in your kitchen is far more eco-friendly than you might first realize. 

Studies have shown that in the United States, roughly 20% of the trash that’s thrown out is food scraps and waste. Quite a lot of that food can’t properly break down where it’s buried in landfills and garbage dumps. This causes them to become one of the main sources of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gasses we know today.

Since garbage disposals break these food scraps and waste down into tiny bits, the decomposition process becomes far easier if it does ever get to landfills. Doing something as simple as putting food waste into the disposal unit already reduces the amount of trash that ends up in landfills to begin with!

High Quality Garbage Disposal Units are Relatively Cheap

Possibly one of the best reasons and answers to “should I get a garbage disposal?” is how cheap buying a garbage disposal can be. Many different models of these units are categorized by how much horsepower they have since impeller plates and older blades often require a motor to spin. For the average household, a garbage disposal with ¾ horsepower is enough and can cost between $125 to $300. 

However, there are also models with higher torque and stronger motors that can easily handle larger amounts of food scraps and waste. These garbage disposals can cost about $200 (or more) and are more than effective. And with the proper care and installation, these disposal units will last for ten years or longer.

What are Some of the Disadvantages of A Garbage Disposal? 

Though they give many benefits to a household, garbage disposals come with their share of disadvantages as well:

Garbage Disposals Have Specific Uses

The most frequently listed disadvantage in many garbage disposal pros and cons lists is the specific ways you need to use it. Though you can put a lot of food scraps into them, they aren’t exactly trash cans. It’s important to know exactly what you can put into a garbage disposal before you get one since these “bad” foods can often end up damaging the unit and causing more harm.

To help, here’s a proper list of what you shouldn’t put into a disposal unit as well as why they’re a bad idea. Do note, though, some of them can be put into the unit but with proper care!

  • Starchier foods. To be more specific, a few grains of rice or a single spaghetti noodle are acceptable and can be put into a garbage disposal. But not an entire plate of rice or noodles! Too much of these foods will end up clogging both your pipes and the disposal with all that water you put in too.
  • Harder food scraps. Like starchy foods, smaller bones and eggshells can be put in, but nothing bigger or harder than that since it can damage the unit’s blades. All seafood shells and coffee beans are a definite no, too!
  • Fibrous peels and vegetables. This means that you can’t just chop up banana, potato, or onion peels to put in the disposal. Even veggies like asparagus and celery can wrap around the blades and stop them from spinning.
  • Fatty foods and grease. Most fatty foods contain some form of grease or oil, making them a terrible idea for both your garbage disposal and your pipes. Since you should be using cool or cold water to wash down those food bits, all that grease and oil will end up hardening and clogging the unit and the pipes below.

It Can Be Expensive to Repair One

If you aren’t careful with what you put into the unit, you’ll more than likely end up finding another one of the disadvantages in the list of pros and cons of garbage disposal units. If it does start to fail, either due to age or damage, the repair costs will often be much higher. Many homeowners have often figured out that simply replacing it is a far better option, especially with the natural motor burnout and rust that can happen.


Garbage disposals can be quite useful to a household, given that they’re used correctly. It becomes easier to dispose of after-meal scraps and can even help to save the environment by reducing the amount of trash. 

However, if a garbage disposal isn’t used right, the unit can be damaged and will end up needing costly repairs. Though many homes have one installed, only a homeowner can choose whether it’s the best for them.

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