Talk:Garbage disposal unit

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The Garburator and Garbage disposal pages clearly should be merged; seeking input as to which way the merge should go. I've never heard of a Garburator, but I'm not Canadian. What are these things called in other parts of the English-speaking world? Bunchofgrapes 01:19, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I went ahead and merged into "Garbage disposal", surely a more generic term. Bunchofgrapes 15:54, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

Added a link to "Canadian English" by the term "garburator" to clear up any confusion. It's listed as a Canadian term in the Oxford Canadian Dictionary. Obviously, remove if anyone feels it inappropriate.

I agree that garburator should be there. It is certainly widely used in Ontario although I don't know about the rest of the country Canking 20:01, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
For some reason it appears that the term was completely removed from this page. I've placed it back. It is, as others have pointed out, well in use throughout Ontario. Celynn (talk) 21:32, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Usage across the world (ie. the EU)[edit]

Somebody should add a section regarding the usage of garbage disposals across the world. I live in the UK an I have never experienced a garbage disposal unit anywhere here, however I often see them (or the mention of them) on US tv. I would add information on this myself but I don't exactly have any sources or knowledge of their usage in countries other than the UK and US. Joe 1987 02:48, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Two points I can offer is that they seemed ubiquitous in 1960's Los Angeles and as of 2006 are pretty much non-existant in Japan. Not sure how to work these observations in however. jamoross 17 June 2006
Usage of garbage disposals seems to be forbidden by law in the EU (I think law is refering to the standard 'EN DIN 12056-1', which prohibits the installation of garbage disposals within buildings). Member states of the EU can make exceptions, but normally this isn't done - often local law expressly forbids it again. In Switzerland local waste-law is also banning such devices. The reasons are the enormous additional costs for treatment of such wastewater (must be compliant to EU environment standards) and often the existence of special collecting systems which offer a better reuse (e.g. composting).-- 17:01, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Food Waste Disposers (FWD) are ***not*** forbidden by law in the EU. The standard 'EN DIN 12056-1' does not prohibit the installation of garbage disposals within buildings. Actually the standard EN DIN 12056-1 explicitly mentions technical parameters of how to use FWDs properly. FWDs can be installed and used in many European countries such as UK, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy. In 99% of the cases European opponents of FWDs do not have any personal experience with FWDs. Even worse, politicians usually have not the expertise to know something what they talk about. So there is a special "alliance" against this extremely useful device: The folks from the Sewage Treatment Plants (SWP) do not want anybody to make a change in the use of "their" plants. The firms that make a real big buck with garbage collection would not be happy to see a reduction municipal solid waste (MSW). FWDs are primarily a very efficient source separation system for biodegradable waste. It has been proved many times that even the overall output in energy of the FWD-System is positive - including production and recycling of the devices, production plant, etc.. There are not many technical systems that show that excellent numbers.

One people in this discussion says: "The reasons are the enormous additional costs for treatment of such wastewater (must be compliant to EU environment standards)".

Well this statement is completely wrong and misleading.

1. Thesis: "Enormous cost". Indeed there are "enormous" cost. That expenses are caused by the current system where usually four (!) fractions of the garbage are being collected by trucks. 1. The MSW 2. packing material (sorted by the citizens) and 3. biodegradable waste. 4. Black water that goes into the sewage treatment plant (SWP).

Especially in the summer you can enjoy the different trucks visiting your house. Regardless if your waste bins are full or not. They will be pick it up. The companies that collect the MSW make big money with this "service" and also the incineration plant. The third fraction (kitchen waste) is also a source for smoothly achieved profits with the centralized compost sites. Often the cost for these compost sites are packed into the regular fees for garbage collection. Even if you do home composting you are charged for the compost sites and the profit of the transport companies.

So the total cost for MSW-collection, Kitchen waste handling and packing waste could be reasonably lower if FWDs would be used.

Another myth of the people that have an anti FWD attitude, is that the operation of SWP would be more difficult and expensive. Just the opposite is the case. SWP produce much much more energy out of biogas and the the removal of nitrogen and phosphorous is easier and less costly.

To tell the people that ground food waste creates problems for anybody in the whole waste treatment chain, is simply not the case.

Those fans of centralized compost sites should take the time to read a little scientific literature and think about the disturbing matters of heavy metal in compost that comes from kitchen waste. Lead, cadmium, chromium, ... Compost that is being sold to blissfully ignorant people can ruin your vegetable patch forever. If the maximum permissible values are exceeded, well in this case the values are simply adjusted. There is close-mouth strategy about the poisoned compost.

In opposite to the well promoted compost, sludge from the SWP has a bad reputation. If you look at the numbers you will see that sludge has much less heavy metal than compost.

If you explain all this in Europe, the conversional partner quickly will tell you that a technology that comes from the US cannot be good for the environment. Hence, everybody knows that the US is the worst climate killer in the world, etc...

So they say. Most of the time the real hard facts about FWDs are faded away because of the cut and dried opinions. This attitude causes enormous financial and environmental damage to the people and the environment.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:17, 7 August 2007

I deleted In Europe they can be used in the UK, Italy, Sweden, Norway and other countries There is a source saying there are two counties in the UK, but not the entire kingdom, and I tried to find a reference to them being allowed in any other EU member state, so far nothing. Any proof welcome! --FlammingoHey 15:35, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

In American popular culture, there seem to be a lot of references to people putting their hand inside the unit and being injured. This article could be improved by referring to that and the likelihood of that occurring.

It stands to reason that putting your hand in a running garbage disposal would be a very bad idea. If it would grind up garbage, it would probably grind up your hand. On the other hand, the fact that it is possible to stick your hand in it may mean that the manufacturers make them safe somehow. It would be interesting if anyone can point to any documentation one way or the other. --WhiteDragon 02:34, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
See also Talk:Garbage disposal#Safety -- (talk) 15:39, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Surreptitious advertising (solved)[edit]

The current text conducts clearly surreptitious advertising, as it uses and repeats advertising messages from just one vendor without any criticsm. Moreover this partially tendencious text is beeing citated by authors from other languages. E.g. the English text mentions that the Food Waste Disposer uses blades. Maybe the new products from this vendor use blades, but the majority of almost any FWD in the world has no blades. Also the text makes the reader believe that only one special sort of motor makes sense. Anybody that knows what it's all about know that this constitutes a doubtless case of surreptitious advertising. Both sorts of motors are working perfectly in 99% of the cases. However: If I would have the choice, I would use a motor that does not block when the grinding chamber is being filled with kitchen waste. The text should be edited as soon as possible. Please note that not all corrections of wrong and tendentious texts are "vandalism".

Wikipedia should not be a PR outlet of big companies that mislead consumers.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:17, 7 August 2007

Yes, it's (now:was!) turning into an ad. The least we could do is say for every "some products can...", "XYZ's products have a different manner...", which is an encyclopedia's way - same is done for any product, cars, you name it. No shops must be in the references, but the companies' pages I read sometimes don't; secondary sources are preferred, of course. At least, that way the blades-story could be corrected, since there are apparantly hardly ever blades in GDs. It's mostly the rotating plate with sharp holes at its side, only that one product with a piston that has steel blades (HydroMaid). So, that's different, with the others, the inventor (InSinkErator?) may be mentioned of course, but should that not be it? The motor, however, does not convince me to be as important. --FlammingoHey 23:38, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
So the problem is solved now, right? All removed?--FlammingoHey 08:26, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


Would someone familiar with the topic please write a short section about safety? Especially in a household with children. --Una Smith (talk) 16:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. I find it very strange that this article does not have an extensive "Safety" section, especially since US people are world famous for suing everyone and everything if there is even the *slightest* chance that some tool or utility poses even a remote risk of endangering or hurting the user or others - even or especially when such harm is caused by unbelievable stupid actions on the part of the user. (Sorry, but I just couldn't resist). Sarcasm aside - this article definitely needs *some* form of explanation on how dangerous it actually is in daily use. -- (talk) 15:49, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't the section on removing jams start with: After turning it off, you can ... Or is the device somehow non-harmful if it starts up while you are poking into its innards. Zipzip50 (talk) 08:02, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

In the section: Environmental and Safety impact it says,Safe use of disposals is enhanced by employing the "Which Switch?" identifier. I can't find anything under that name. Is there another name for it? Zipzip50 (talk) 11:35, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

This is all I can find on "Which Switch?" and ... both seem to have been shared by the inventor... (talk) 10:45, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Indeed, added here, probably by the inventor. (talk) 10:51, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Disposal units in the UK, different types[edit]

In the UK some people definitely do have them, as a kid I remember seeing one in our friends house. What really seems to be lacking here though is the fact that there is more than one type of disposal unit. Our friends unit ground up the food scraps then dropped them into a special bin under the sink, instead of all the waste going down the drain almost none did. I knew the thing must have some kind of separator but always wondered how it worked. - I looked it up in Wikipedia and found no mention of disposals that separate waste and water. ! Another aspect I was wondering about was safety as I remember that you could put all the food waste down it - I think even things like chicken bones. Maybe this is a type that no longer exists now. Lucien86 (talk) 04:40, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

In the western US disposals have been standard in new houses/apartments since the 1970s. But if you have a disposal, that means you don't have a strainer over the drain to stop large pieces from going through. Even if you're careful to put food into the compost bin, a few pieces accidentally go down the drain, and then the sink stops up and you have to run the disposal for a second to clear it. That's life with a disposal. Compost pickup is new here: Seattle started five years ago and many cities still don't have it. All the disposals I've seen are the "Continuous" kind: you turn on the water, turn on the disposal, drop food into it, and it goes out the sewer pipe. I wouldn't put chicken bones into it. Sluggoster (talk) 05:54, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Use in the UK?[edit]

I live in the UK, and in my entire life I have seen only 1 or 2 domestic devices in the UK (much more common in commercial establishments). They are rare in domestic dwellings here. They're generally regarded as a pointless novelty, and the noise they make is problematic in the UK's relatively dense housing. So I cheked the ref for the 6% claim, and sure enough its a journalistic source giving no reference whatsoever, ie very unreliable. I dont believe the 6% claim is true.

FWIW they make no sense to uk householders, who simply put food material in the bin by/under the sink. Whether that binful goes out with mixed waste or is composted varies. Tabby (talk) 08:35, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Use in Australasia?[edit]

I have lived in both New Zealand and Australia, and the waste disposal unit is very widely used in New Zealand. I'm not entirely sure about Australia, but having lived in Melbourne for 3 years, I have not seen any usage of the waste disposal unit in Melbourne. I will try and research further on this.

Hyongsu87 (talk) 07:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I've never seen them here, but then I don't usually go around looking under people's sinks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 26 April 2011 (UTC)


This page contains little to no info on the damage to sewage systems caused my fat oil and grease, and seems to promote disposals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Article Raleigh NC is one of the first US cities to ban Garbage Disposals —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 17 March 2008

The Raleigh ban was rescinded within a month, with the City Council admitting they had not checked the scientific evidence. Mauls (talk) 09:43, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Fat and grease have nothing to do with the use of a disposal. With any dishwashing, oil and grease goes down the drain, as plumbers know.--FlammingoHey 17:13, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Changes to Impacts and advantages page[edit]

I have made changes to this page, with citations, because the former copy was not factual. These new corrections are backed by research and this page is now factual.

InSinkErator Division —Preceding unsigned comment added by InSinkErator Division (talkcontribs) 18:57, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

They don't exist in The Netherlands[edit]

Nobody owns them here. "American things" like bubble baths, ice cube machines, microwave ovens, phones with very long cords, walk-in closets, have all slowly been adopted, at least by the rich. Garbage disposal units cannot even be found on line. Strange. It may have to do with the fact that all the other things are shown in TV shows and disposal units aren't. Joepnl (talk) 23:00, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

A quick Google of "voedselvermaler" proves that this is absolute nonsense. Mauls (talk) 10:49, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
They are not legal to use in the Netherlands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:10, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

It's a DisposER, not a DisposAL[edit]

The unit is called a Garbage Disposer, not a Garbage Disposal. The first disposer to be marketed was called a Disposall, and like a tissue became a Kleenex and a cotton swab became a Q-Tip no matter who makes them, the ubiquitous brand name became the generic name, so the disposer in colloquial English became the disposal, but that doesn't mean that simply because some or even most people have decided by fiat to mistakenly refer the item by the wrong name that it's the correct thing to do. If we all decided to call a platypus a dog because it's an easier & more-recognizable name to use for an animal, it's still really a platypus and we're just simply wrong. Look at this link: GE's history of the disposer --- it explains exactly what I just said, and this entire article needs to be re-titled & re-written to call the item a disposer with a redirect to it when people enter the word "disposal", but you should say "a/k/a disposal" and the explanation for why it's popularly called that should be added as well.PhilOSophocle (talk) 01:33, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

"Garbage disposal" is the most common name I see, so I think the article should stay where it is. I added "garbage disposer" with a reference to a GE web page that uses that term, and also added mention of the Disposall. Cute. -- Beland (talk) 23:53, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
At this point it is closer to "aspirin" as even the Insinkerator brand is calling them disposals as there does not appear to be a trademark on the term "disposal." Note that Haier has a trademark for "DISPOSALL." Saulinpa (talk) 01:10, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
The ending "-al" usually makes an adjective, but in the case of "dispose -> disposal" it makes a verbal noun: the act of disposing or the residue that was disposed. "The city has problems with disposal of water" means the city can't get rid of water the way it would like. "Disposall" may have been the cause of applying the word "disposal" to a machine that grinds up food waste, but the word is solidly established now. I was born in the 1960s and the word "garbage disposal" has been the common word my entire life in the western US. Sluggoster (talk) 05:21, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

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