As you throw food waste into our garbage disposal, you may wonder where our food scraps go. The majority of what’s left behind gets transported to the landfill. Leftover food is conveyed similarly to how other wastes are transferred from our homes and landfills.
If you’re looking for eco-friendly alternatives, this article can help by answering several key questions.
- Where does garbage disposal go?
- Is garbage disposal eco-friendly?
- 7 environmentally friendly garbage disposal alternatives
Many people wonder what happens to their food waste after it gets shredded by a garbage disposal.
Where Does Food Waste In Garbage Disposal Go?
When your garbage disposal grinds up food scraps and separates them, the water in your pipes carries it to your local wastewater treatment plant. Once food scraps reach the plant, they are filtered. Some of those pieces might go to an incinerator, while others go to an anaerobic organic digestion facility or a landfill.
This may not look like a huge concern, but you don’t want any of your food waste to end up in an incinerator or landfill. The vast majority of disposal waste that enters a water treatment plant is finally disposed of in a landfill. Because landfills aren’t designed to decompose organic waste, it rots and takes up space.
Incinerators can also create a great deal of carbon dioxide. The best option to dispose of your waste is to have it sent into anaerobic digesters. Here, your organic waste will be placed in huge tanks and through a biological process that uses microorganisms to turn garbage into fertilizer. Large tanks process your organic waste in a biological process, turning it into fertilizer. This procedure allows your waste to decompose without emitting methane into the environment, while there is some low-level contamination and the possibility of spills.
Are Garbage Disposals Eco-friendly?
Despite what some people might think, garbage disposals aren’t very environmentally friendly. Shredding food doesn’t help decompose the scraps as fast as other compostable materials because these scraps are being buried under tons of other trash in landfills.
Instead, the food scraps are typically placed in landfills under piles of other trash. These leftovers won’t be able to obtain oxygen, which will cause them to release methane, a potent greenhouse gas that worsens climate change.
Some of the risks associated with garbage disposal waste aren’t limited to methane release, and waste disposal can also cause high water loss, harming marine life and polluting the ocean. However, there are far more eco-friendly alternatives available than disposals that can be just as convenient.
7 Environmentally Friendly Garbage Disposal Alternatives
You don’t need to rely on your disposal for disposing of food scraps. There are various eco-friendly options depending on what you need to dispose of. These alternatives are perfect if you’re ready to replace the blades and grinding chamber with a more environmentally friendly option.
1. Save and Eat Leftovers
One way to reduce environmental impact is by planning and saving food leftover. If you plan on eating leftovers, do not put them in the trash or compost bin! Saving that food for lunch is one of the most eco-friendly ways to dispose of food scraps, and it’s also simple.
You can’t use this method to deal with waste like banana peels, but it should be followed when planning a trip where you’ll need food like rice and pasta.
If you haven’t been storing your leftovers, it’s never too late to start. All you need is containers or bags with airtight seals.
Storing food in airtight containers helps prevent contamination and bacterial growth in your kitchen. If you end up with many leftovers, ensure that the oldest meals are stored in the front of your fridge so you don’t forget about them.
This is beneficial for both people who overeat and for those who don’t want breakfast. This system is also convenient if someone has a lunchtime shift at work!
2. Outdoor Composting
Composting is more environmentally friendly than the garbage disposal option because it reduces the amount of waste going to landfills. There are several options you have when deciding to compost outdoors, and some options include a tumbling composter, a vermicomposter, or an outdoor compost bin.
Outdoor compost bins are ideal for households that produce large amounts of waste. If you need extra space to put food waste, potato peels, and other scraps, an outdoor bin will provide you with more room.
That said, an outdoor pile is not the best option for those living in a city or having a backyard. So that’s why being able to be used indoors is one of many standout features of Lomi. This is great for people with lots of outdoor space who want to create large quantities of food waste.
3. Composting with Lomi
With Lomi, you may have a garbage disposal at home that benefits the environment. You can quickly turn food scraps into nutrient-rich fertilizer using this home composter. This odorless machine uses air, heat, and abrasion to break down the garbage.
Due to its effectiveness and small size, Lomi is one of the finest kitchen compost bins. Whether you live in a massive home with a large backyard or a smaller apartment, this composter is suitable for those who live in all various types of homes. Simply place Lomi on the kitchen countertop, fill it with food waste, and turn it on. Even though Lomi may break down various materials, you should always ensure Lomi approves the material before using it.
This is excellent for anyone looking for a quick, easy, noiseless, and odorless way to break down food leftovers. For those who reside in flats and lack outside space for a compost pile, Lomi is a fantastic option. With Lomi, you can convert food scraps into plant-ready nutrients in less than 24 hours. Increase your plants while cutting down on trash.
4. Freeze Food Before it spoils
Don’t waste food by sending it to a water treatment facility when you can freeze it instead. Many individuals think they won’t consume their leftovers before they spoil, so they put them in the trash, garbage disposal, or kitchen sink.
Fortunately, you may just freeze your food to keep it from spoiling. Check out this practical freezing guide if you’re unfamiliar with freezing food, how temperature affects germs, or what should or shouldn’t be frozen.
This is excellent for anyone looking for a reasonably low-effort method of food preservation without overcrowding the refrigerator.
5. Buy Food Deliberately
Making intentional food purchases entails making a shopping list and keeping to it. Doing these activities will make you less likely to buy more than you need or have time to consume before it spoils. Less food waste means less waste going down the drain.
Of course, this excellent habit has a lot of additional advantages. Making a shopping list and a meal plan might help you save time and money at the grocery store, and it benefits the environment, your bank account, and your morals.
6. Cook Reasonable Portions
Preventing food leftovers from happening in the first place is an excellent strategy to eliminate tossing leftovers in your waste disposal. Suppose you frequently prepare quantities bigger than you or other family members can consume and cannot preserve leftovers. In that case, you are producing additional waste that will wind up in the trash or garbage disposal.
Uncertain about the best ways to divide food into wholesome quantities and lower the likelihood of leftovers? Check out this portion-control table. Alternatively, you may attempt to keep track of your eating patterns to predict better how much or how little food you desire to consume.
7. Make smoothies out of scraps.
Making something fresh from your leftovers is a common way to reduce food waste. You might make something wholesome and delicious out of the garbage you send to the water treatment facility in your neighborhood. For instance, a little over its expiration date, spinach can be transformed into a nutritional component of a smoothie.
There are a variety of methods to repurpose waste besides smoothies. You may use Fruit pits to produce syrup and apple cores to make jam, and you might also use leftover vegetables to make a tasty broth. You may be creative with your leftovers by using one of the many fantastic online recipes.
Fruits, vegetables, and other waste we produce have no place in wastewater treatment facilities or landfills. There are numerous, equally simple ways to dispose of organic waste without harming the environment despite the convenience of a garbage disposal.