Below are some tips about what you can put down your garbage disposal, and what should not be put into the garbage disposal and the sanitary sewer system. These tips help protect you and the environment too!
DO minimize the use of the garbage disposal. If you are able to compost vegetable waste at your 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 are not hazardous or made up primarily of fats or oils.
DO dispose of solid items that cannot be composted in the trash. Arlington’s trash goes to a Waste to Energy Plant, where the trash is burned to make energy. So it is preferable to dispose of non-compostable items in the trash, instead of sending them down garbage disposal, where they must go to the Wastewater Treatment 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 allowed to cool and solidify. Then you can dispose of the can in the trash. If there is a small amount of oil or grease in the pan, you can 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, such as seeds, corn cobs, bones, egg shells, or flower stems down your garbage disposal. These items can damage your disposal. They should be composted or thrown in the trash.