You’re Not as Green as You Think

…if you use a garbage disposal.

There is a widespread ignorance around garbage disposals. Don’t get me wrong, they’re convenient, but have you ever thought about what happens to that food you grind up and send out with the waste water? Is it possible those food particles are creating a negative environmental impact?

Here’s how it works. Food goes down the sink, we grind it up and send small particles out with the waste water. That water then travels to a waste water treatment plant where it is strained, cleared of small particles, and then treated to make it just safe enough to be dumped into the closest ocean, river, or lake. So what happens to all the particulates that are strained and cleared out? They typically go straight to the landfill, where they decompose and send methane up into the atmosphere, contributing to rising CO2 levels.

There’s a better solution though! Instead of grinding up all that food waste, you can simply keep a compost bin under your kitchen sink or even directly on the counter next to your sink. When your three-year old doesn’t finish everything on his plate, you just scrap the excess into your compost and then rinse the plate. More and more cities across the U.S. and the world are accepting compost in the green waste bins. This compost is then super-heated and broken down into nutrient-rich soil amendment. The methane released during the heating process is captured and used to power the facility as well as garbage collection trucks. You can check if your local green waste collection allows food scraps right on their website. If they don’t, you can start a compost right in your backyard in an enclosed compost bin or even better, in a HomeBioGas system, which collects the methane for your use on a gas cooktop.

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