The garbage disposal is a controversial kitchen utility that has caused quite a stir since its introduction in 1940. So, should garbage disposals be used at all? Like everything, there are pros and cons to using a garbage disposal.
The main pro for using garbage disposals is that it decreases the amount of trash sent to the landfill. When food decomposes in landfills, it releases harmful methane gases. These gases are the primary contributor to global warming and damage to the ozone layer. So, for every person using a garbage disposal, less methane gas is being released.
Despite numerous rumors, garbage disposals cannot handle every type of food. They were only designed to grind soft foods. Whatever food not placed in the garbage disposal gets sent to the landfill. So, the difference is almost statistically insignificant.
Also, a garbage disposal uses both electricity and water, slightly increasing these household bills. Overall, garbage disposals are not cost effective.
So, we know what is good about your garbage disposal and what is bad. Now you will learn the ugly consequences of using your garbage disposal. When food scraps are ground up in the garbage disposal, they enter the city’s water system. Now, water systems are designed to handle food scraps, but there are adverse effects of the foods’ presence. The food scraps are filtered out of the water and are either turned into fertilizer, sent to the landfill, or pumped into local streams.
When the later is done, the food scraps can cause a surplus of nutrients in the water. This excess can cause local microorganisms, like algae, to grow at an alarming rate. Pretty soon, the ecosystem’s food chain is off balance creating environmental dysfunction.
It also doesn’t get any better if the food scraps are sent to the landfill instead. In the end, it will take more energy to filter the food scraps from the water and then send it to the landfill. This process will produce the same result as if you have just thrown away your scraps into your trash.
The environment would be better off if everyone just made a compost pile. Composting food scraps would be a lot more helpful than using a garbage disposal.
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