It’s a garbage disposal, not a waste bin.

(Composting verse disposal)

Here at Arrowhead Plumbing our motto is, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” As plumbers we see all types of things stuck in your pipes. One area where we see a lot of issues is in the kitchen sink. Yes, even if you have a disposal. Most of these problems could be easily avoided by just taking a second to, ‘think before you throw it in the sink!’. It seems that most people are not aware what they should and should not put down the disposal. A lot of what we think to throw down the sink can actually be great for composting and a benefit to our yards.

First things first, the sink is designed to keep water flowing out of your house and not let bacteria and other things come in. This is achieved by a little piece in the draining pipes called the P trap. You may have seen one of these before, they are under mostly every type of sink. It’s a little ‘U’ shaped bend under the drain just before the out bound pipes. It is designed to keep water in the bend as a barrio to keep things from coming back up the pipes from outside the house. It is also very easy to clog up if you put the wrong things down the drain. You’ll know if this happens because you’ll be plagued with a smelly, backed-up sink.

As far as good disposal maintenance here’s a list of things you should not put in the disposal period, some of which should not go in the compost bin either. Putting these things in the trash or compost will help avoid clogging up your sink. Common culprits for clogged sinks include the following:

  • Grease
  • Fat
  • Oil
  • Animal Bones
  • Fruit and vegetable peels, pits and seeds
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Coffee grounds
  • Starchy foods

Make sure to run cold water while using the disposal to help everything drain properly. Be sure to keep the disposal running for approximately 30 seconds after it seems everything has cleared your drain. You can also freeze vinegar or lemon juice and use these lightly acidic ice cubes to help clean out your disposal.

So what types of things would be better to put in the compost rather than the disposal you ask? Here is a list of common culprits that should find their way into the compost rather than the down the drain.

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit peels and seeds
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Potatoes skins
  • Leafy greens
  • Onion skins

The types of foods that you want to avoid putting in the compost would be any dairy product, oils, meats, bones and fish. So as you can see, when comparing the two lists there are a number of items not good for the disposal that are actually a benefit for a compost pile. Which in turn is good for your yard. It’s a win-win scenario if you just take the time to do it.

Remember, ‘think before you throw it in the sink!’

And as always, for all your plumbing needs don’t hesitate to call one of our trained professionals at Arrowhead Plumbing. We’ll take care of your problems the right way the first time, because, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!”

Foods to never put down the disposal

Disposal Maintenance