Frequently Asked Questions

Below, find answers to the most commonly asked questions we've received about the environmental benefits of disposers and the role they play in solving the food waste management challenge.

Is there an ideal way of disposing of food waste?

Trucking food waste to landfills and incinerating it generates emissions, and rotting food scraps emit methane, a greenhouse gas. Composting food scraps make sense, but isn't always practical. Using a food waste disposer can play a convenient and environmentally beneficial role in helping manage waste, used on its own or in combination with composting.

How is using a food waste disposer environmentally responsible?

Using a disposer to keep food waste out of landfills has many environmental benefits. Garbage trucks used to haul food waste emit exhaust and at the landfill, decomposing food scraps generate methane and a liquid leachate that, left unchecked, can contaminate ground water. Alternatively, a capable wastewater treatment facility can convert ground up food waste from disposers into valuable renewable energy and fertilizer.

What is biogas?

Biogas (or "biofuel") offers a renewable and more environmentally friendly energy resource alternative to fossil fuels. When treating wastewater, methane gas is produced. A capable wastewater facility can capture the biogas and use it to power the plant.

What are biosolids?

Biosolids are the nutrient-rich organic materials that result from the treatment of wastewater. Biosolids contain many essential plant nutrients, and can be recycled as fertilizer or soil conditioner for use in agriculture.

What is the environmental footprint of disposals? Do they use a lot of water and energy?

Food waste disposers use less than 1% of a household's total water consumption (less than a gallon per person) and, on average, cost less than 50¢ a year in electricity to operate (3-4 KWh annually). In a foodservice operation, an average disposer costs 12¢ per day to operate. Additionally, durable and long-lasting InSinkErator® disposers require little, if any, maintenance. Plus, because our disposers are constructed primarily of metal, they can also be recycled at the end of their useful life.

Is it true that disposals put a strain on municipal pipes and sewage systems?

According to more than two dozen independent studies from around the world, food waste disposers do not harm municipal sewer systems. In the United States, installing a disposer also contributes one point towards achieving the ANSI/ICC National Green Building Standard.


Want more

  To request additional information about the environmental benefits of food waste disposers, please contact us via email at disposers.environment@emerson.com.