Food Waste Disposal Unit Buying Guide

A good food waste disposal system should be in your home for the better part of a decade or more. If you’re going to have something living with you for that long, you’d better make sure it works perfectly, and is practically made for you personal needs. Do not settle for second best.
from: Appliances Online

Your best bet is to identify those factors which are most integral in your search for the perfect food waste disposal unit, and apply them to your purchases. There are several factors I think are necessary to consider when finding your home its waste disposal system. But first…

What is a Food Waste Disposal Unit, and How Does it Work?

Food waste disposal systems are arguably one of the most revolutionary new items to enter our kitchen in the last decade. It enables its users to dispose of food scraps in an environmentally and space conscious way. It is attached to the drain under the kitchen sink- it opens where the drain used to. The machine grinds food into tiny particles where it is then flushed out with the rest of the sewage from the home. Just turn the cold water tap on, and allow the machine to conveniently crush your scraps in a matter of seconds.

Is the Machine Safe?

Contrary to popular opinion, the waste disposal unit does not have knives or blades. Rather, it uses blunt swivel lugs to grind the food against the side of an internal grinding ring. I do not recommend putting your hand down there while the machine is on, however, it does not have sharp edges that can be problematic even if the machine is off.

What are the Benefits?

Cleanliness is a big factor here. Dirty plates have a tendency to become a problem in the kitchen. With a waste disposal unit, you are able to simply scrape the dishes into the sink and put them straight into the dishwasher.

Hygiene is another problem that comes hand-in-hand with food waste. There are guaranteed to be fewer insects in the home once a disposer is fitted- ridding the kitchen of the odours and bacteria that left over food bring.

Eco-friendly products have fast become part of today’s social conscience, and food waste disposers fit perfectly into this change. The waste you put down the sink is ground and channeled to a waste water treatment plant which can then be used to generate energy via the methane gas which it expels. This happens as an alternative to typical waste going to our already over-flowing land fills.

The most positive factor your food waste disposal unit brings to the home is the convenience and practicality it employs. It alleviates the chores of taking out the rubbish and disinfecting bins. Also, the machine fits simply under the sink- taking up little to no room. You don’t even notice that it’s there. It provides a handy setting for the preparation and clean-up of meals.

So, What Do you Look for when Buying?

Sound Control - Food waste disposal units are so visibly inconspicuous; the sound it makes should not make up for the difference. All units are going to make a certain level of noise- after all the lugs are crushing your scraps. The Dura-Drive™ induction motors found in In-Sink-Erator models are best for minimizing noise as opposed to those with permanent magnet motors. Look for a product that has integrated sound baffles, top of the line insulation and large sound barriers.

Size - The size of your waste disposal unit should be directly related to the amount of waste you are intending to put down the machine. While you would not notice a large machine’s size over a smaller one, its price and warranty go hand-in-hand with its capacity.

Continuous Feed Vs Batch Feed - Waste disposers vary in terms of the way in which they grind food scraps. A machine which has a Continuous Feed refers to the way in which the cold water is turned on, the switch is flicked and the machine runs until it is turned off. In contrast, a Batch Feed is only operable once the lid is fastened on the machine and turned on. This feature has been introduced to avoid accidents that may occur when reaching down while the machine is on or other objects falling in by accident. We feel, however, that the continuous feed machines are far more convenient, and the risk of an accident is quite small as long as you are careful when it is running.

Which switch to use?

Choosing between two different switches to your machine, there are some factors to consider. Generally, you will be choosing between a standard electric switch, or an air switch (only available in continuous feed models). While most traditionally models have been fitted with electrical switches, the new air switches provide further convenience and safety with using your waste disposal units. The air switch, when pressed, produces vibrations via a pipe in your countertop. This then turns on the machine. These are generally more convenient as they can be positioned nearby the machine and prevent potential electric shock.