Many of us try to incorporate green living into our daily lives. While a composter is ideal for waste, some people simply don’t have access to one where they live. However, they have a garbage disposal, and some wonder if throwing their food scraps down the drain is better than throwing them away.

Which Is Greener: Throwing Scraps Away or Sending Them Down The Garbage Disposal?

So which is greener and better for the environment?
In order to answer this question, it’s essential to look at the pros and cons of garbage disposals and their impact on the landfill or water supply. While some consider the garbage disposal a green machine that lessens the amount of garbage sent to landfills, others claim that dumping waste into the water system has repercussions.

Garbage disposal pros

Garbage disposals can handle most food scraps and leftovers. However, it can’t handle grease and fats because they can block the pipes. The scraps that are put into the disposal will eventually end up in a wastewater plant. They will go through a treatment that scrapes out the largest solid matter, and it is either condensed into fertilizer, landfilled, or digested by microorganisms.

Compared to disposals, the garbage offers less efficiency when it comes to energy. It takes a lot to transport trash from curb to landfill. The trash’s decomposition will likely result in damaging greenhouse gas emissions.

Garbage disposal cons

A negative aspect of garbage disposals involve a eutrophic impact that is than three times larger than sending it to the landfill. They also use water to do their job. The liquid waste that is pumped back into local water streams affects chemical composition and aquatic life. Additionally, you should consider the extraction of the metal needed to make the disposal.

The bottom line

Compost your garbage whenever possible. However, if you don’t have access to a composter, use the garbage disposal. Make sure that there is not a water shortage in your area, and avoid putting grease or fat down the drain.