I can’t help having a quick rant. Having just moved house I am once again faced with a chunk of useless metal under my sink, (rest assured that when I put in a new kitchen in my last house a waste disposal unit was not on the Ikea shopping list) and now I am having to deal with clogs and back-flows and the stink associated with it. Is it not time we did away with these obsolete heaps of scrap metal?
I will elaborate just in case someone is stupid enough to be thinking, I couldn’t be without mine I use it all the time! Please note that I gleaned the following information from various sources whilst considering if I should ever install a disposal unit again and whilst I cannot attest to the complete accuracy, I pass on my findings to you completely convinced that they are in all probability, truthful.
You may have heard some propaganda, probably emanating from Sinkerator or whatever it’s called, that food scraps in landfills decompose quickly and produce the greenhouse gas methane that does way more damage to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Plus, just as scary, it putrefies into an acidic liquid that seeps into ground water. The only sane solution…use a waste disposal in your sink. I think not, and in my not so humble opinion, neither should you.
As with all good marketing there is a bending of the truth. Yes, when trapped underground moist organic materials produce gas which is maybe 50-70% methane…not something we want in our atmosphere. But these days our new landfills here in California that hold more than 2.5 million cubic meters install gas collection systems and some even use the methane to generate their own electricity. Other, older landfills are being modified to do the same and I read that excess gas (of which there should be a considerable amount) will be piped to add to our supply of Natural Gas because they are one and the same.
The same cannot be said for gas emitted by waste water treatment plants, the place that your crunched up food waste goes when you put them through your disposal. Now think about it a second…that’s all it’ll take, you put crap into the water and someone has to take it out, meaning more energy costs and horrifically in my mind, more chemicals. And where do the solids that are riddled with chemicals go? You guessed it, to the landfill, about 30% of the solids you flush into the system from what I can gather. So, has anyone connected the dots yet? The way I see it is that not only do we get the dreaded acid leaching into the water table anyway, we get the added bonus of a whole shit-load of chemicals. Then there is the problem of moving all that waste material through our city’s waste system. HELLO! It requires a lot of water and water, in case you haven’t noticed is in short supply. Here are the stats I found: 19% of California’s electricity and 32% of its natural gas use is used to pump water and wastewater! More dots to connect, pumping water uses a lot of energy and therefore, looking at the bigger picture, contributes a significant amount to global warming.
So, unless you compost at home, the better alternative is to put only your compostable fresh, green, raw veggie scraps in your green bin (be sensible here) and ALL other food waste straight into the garbage. Don’t get me started on fats…
Keep our water clean!