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Life Without a Garbage Disposal

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My new home does not have a garbage disposal in it. I thought all homes came with garbage disposals. I am used to putting everything down the garbage disposal. How do you keep food from going down the drain? My neighbor told me she always keep a colander/strainer nearby and strains anything that has liquid in it and dispose of any remnants of food left in the colander in the trash. Leaving a strainer out on the counter top everyday seems untidy to me. Do you have any other ideas?

Onesummer from GA


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Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Donna [8]01/09/2010

I bought a hard plastic screen that sits down inside the drain. Catches all food particles and so easy to pull out and toss the garbage. You leave it in all the time. I think most super markets sell it in their hardware aisle.

By Nan Corpe [6]01/04/2010

I have never had a garbage disposal and my kids are grown now. I always keep lemon daisies in my drain to catch bits that shouldn't go down the drain, then I throw them into the trash. I guess I usually live in homes with a septic system. I always put a small amount of bleach in my dishwater, and after I wash the dishes, I clean the sinks with that water. Obviously, I don't have a diswasher in my present home. I decided I kept the dished washed more if I did them by hand rather than hide them in the dishwasher which I found myself doing (Shame on me).

By ann [21]01/04/2010

I don't have a disposal either. I buy these screens that fit right in your drain from the dollar store. I just empty when full. They are with the kitchen gadgets. They cost a buck!

By Cricket [201]01/04/2010

Everyone's talking about how much they love their disposals, but no one's answering your question about how to live without one. Well I don't have one either, and at either Wal Mart or the Dollar Store (I forget) I picked up these little strainers that sit in the drain and pick up all the stuff that shouldn't go down. Whenever it gets something in it, I just pick it up and empty it into the trash and then rinse it out and put it back in the drain. It's so simple and saves so much from stuff going down the drain and into my septic tank.

They have several types but I've found the best one is the one that is made with a metal screening material and just a metal ring around the top. The rubber ones clog it up too much and then even the liquids won't go down. But these screen ones work great. And they don't cost very much either, especially when you consider the money they save you from calling a plumber! I leave these in my sinks 24/7 because you never know when you or someone will dump something into the sink.

By Sheila A.01/04/2010

When I had my current house built, I was stunned to learn that you are not supposed to have a garbage disposal when you are on a septic system and not a sewer. Since then, I have learned that you can get a special garbage disposal made for septic tank homes that squirts some type of "digester" into the food mix when you turn it on. This is not the common variety of disposal you can pick up at Sears or Home Depot, it is especially made for use with septic systems.

If you have a septic system, call someone that services septic tanks to ask what is the best thing for you to do. Putting in a regular disposal for a hundred dollars or so and then having to pay possibly thousands of dollars to have your septic drain lines dug up and replaced because you clogged them and "killed" your septic tank is not smart thing to do.

I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and got little strainers made with metal window-type screen to catch the food in my kitchen sink. After doing the dishes, I just take out the screen and tap it on the side of the garbage can, rinse it off and drop it back over the drain opening. Works like a champ and catches stuff much smaller than the punched drain plugs that come with the sink.

Bottom line is just because you can buy a garbage disposal and have it installed, doesn't mean you should. Check first! There is usually a reason that there wasn't one installed in the first place.

By Mary [12]10/05/2006

I compost everything I can and scrape the food scraps into the trash, but there are still bits and pieces that cling to dishes or pots and pans anyway. I say get someone to install a garbage disposal for you, but until then, put one of those inserts that sticks down into the drain over the sink hole. You can get them at WalMart. I have one that stays on the non-disposal side of my sink all the time. It catches the scraps and all you have to do is lift it out and tap it in the garbage can.

By tara [1]09/17/2006

We just empty our plates in the trash before putting them in the sink or dishwasher.

By Debbie Dzurilla [24]09/16/2006

I agree, just have a garbage disposal put in. If you are used to using one and don't want any unnecessary items sitting on the counter, then that's the way to go. It sounds like for you, it will pay for itself in convenience!

By janice [48]09/15/2006

you can get lint catchers (think that is the name), that fit in the drain. This catches much more than the strainers or drain plugs. I use these in my tub/shower, and in the sink. They are fairly inexpensive and can be found at Walmart. They may have them at dollar stores also, not sure.

By Laura Justice [2]09/14/2006

I have my first disposal! And I feel guilty when I use it instead of composting.......
I used a triangular sink helper (don't know it's name)-- but all compostable items( peels, coffee grounds, egg shells crushed, tea bags other non meat/fatty items) went in it and then to the compost heap-- Let me tell you-- compost truly is BLACK GOLD!!
I found my first sink helper at a garage sale-- the second is stainless steel and I got it from a dollar store.
So buck up-- get a dog for all the meat/bones/fat and start a compost heap.
good luck

By pris (Guest Post)09/14/2006

Garbage disposals don't cost that much!!! Have one put in.

By Kelly [15]09/12/2006

I rarely ever had a garbage disposal growing up (minus the dog!)...When we wash or rinse, we always leave the "plug" (with the strain holes) in the drain, to catch whatever, and clean when full or afterwards. The only liquid not allowed was oil, and if it is from cooking, that went to the dog. If there is too much seasoning/salt, I just dump it down the drain, because I don't do that too often and I run hot water with it, and do a monthly flush of baking soda & vinegar to keep pipes open.

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