Here are some tips about what you can put down your garbage disposal — and what you shouldn’t. These tips help protect you and the environment!
Do Minimize the Use of Your Garbage Disposal
If you’re able to compost vegetable waste at home, you can dispose of material like vegetable peels, cuttings, stems, seeds and coffee grounds by composting. Composting allows you to convert these waste items into a valuable soil amendment that you can use in your garden. Find out more about composting and compost bins.
Do Dispose of Liquid Materials in the Garbage Disposal
If they’re not hazardous or made up primarily of fats or oils, liquids are safe to put in the garbage disposal.
Do Dispose of Solid Items That Cannot Be Composted in the Trash
Arlington’s trash goes to the Energy-from-Waste facility in Alexandria where the trash is burned to make energy. So it’s preferable to dispose of noncompostable items in the trash instead of sending them down the garbage disposal where they’ll go to the Water Pollution Control Plant and be removed through the water treatment process.
Don’t Put Fats, Oil and Grease Down the Drain or in the Garbage Disposal
These materials (known as FOG) solidify in the sewer and cause blockages and sewer overflows. Materials like bacon grease, oil and other fats should be poured into an empty metal can and be allowed to cool and solidify, then disposed of in the trash. If there is a small amount of oil or grease in your pan, wipe the pan out with a paper towel to remove the grease before washing. Find out more about FOG and how to prevent backups.
Don’t Put Hazardous Materials Such as Chemicals or Medicine Down the Garbage Disposal
These hazardous items, such as paint, unneeded medicine, motor oil, pesticides, solvents and other cleaners, should be disposed of through the Household Hazardous Materials Program.
Don’t Put Hard or Fibrous Materials Down Your Garbage Disposal
Seeds, corncobs, bones, eggshells or flower stems can be damaging. They should be composted or thrown in the trash.