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Waste Disposal Unit Guide: Types of Garbage Disposal

Waste Disposal units are relatively un-common in the UK. However, they are a great way to dispose of your food in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. 

There are many misconceptions about Waste Disposal Units, what they do and how safe they are. For this reason, we've created this article to clear up any confusion and show why a waste disposal unit would be a fantastic edition to any home.

What Is A Waste Disposal Unit?

A waste disposal unit is a fitting that goes underneath your sink to allow you to dispose of any food item quickly and efficiently. The waste disposal will grind food into smaller pieces to allow it to pass through your plumbing system.

How Does A Waste Disposal Unit Work?

Modern waste disposal units have a rotating head disc which uses centrifugal forces to push food waste to a static grinding plate at the edge of the unit. This then grinds up the food into pieces which are small enough to pass through the plumbing system. 

Older waste disposals had physical blades which you could see by looking into the sink. These are now rare as they are potentially not as safe as more modern designs.


What Can You Put In A Waste Disposal Unit?

You can put virtually any food waste into a modern waste disposal unit, this includes bones. However, it's important to check with the manufacturer of your garbage disposal to see if there are any foods you shouldn't put in your unit.

It's also important to be careful not to put any utensils into your disposal unit whilst you are pushing food into it. You should also remove any loose rings or jewellery which could fall into the garbage disposal whilst you are using it. 


Can You Fit A Waste Disposal To Any Sink? 

Waste disposals are mainly designed to fit onto a 90mm waste. As a result, they aren't suitable for a lot of half bowl sinks, which will usually have a 60mm waste. Most half bowl sinks are also shorter in height than the main bowl, which means the main bowl can obstruct installation of the unit. 


Are Waste Disposals On All The Time?

The type of waste disposal you choose will determine whether it is on all the time or not. Air switch and batch feed garbage disposals allow you to turn on the garbage disposal as needed. If you don't choose either of these, you will have a continuous feed garbage disposal which will be on all the time.


What Are the Benefits of Waste Disposal Units?

Primarily, they prevent the build-up of methane gases that is produced by food left decomposing in your bin. This occurs throughout the world at landfill sites, which is why it is usually buried, and this contributes to the build-up of greenhouse gases and subsequently global warming.

Waste disposal units mean that significantly more harmful gas is sent to waste treatment plants so that the increased conversion of renewable energy and fertilisers can occur.

Once your food waste has been ground up into dust, it is taken down your water pipes along with your kitchen’s water flow. That’s why it’s best if you run the water slightly while using your waste disposal unit. 

Waste disposal units also drastically reduce, or by design remove, the chances of blocking your pipes with food waste. Also reduced drastically are kitchen odours as there is no need to dispose of food waste in a bin where it sits and festers. For these reasons and more, waste disposal units are incredibly useful.

Types of Waste Disposal

  • Air Switch
  • Batch Feed
  • Continuous Feed

Air Switch Waste Disposal Units

Air switch garbage disposal units are activated at the touch of a button. This button sends a pulse of air through PVC tubing to a control box at the base of the disposal unit, which contains an air pressure switch. This allows you to easily turn your disposal unit on and off. 

The buttons of air switch units can be placed at a convenient place around your sink. Air switch garbage disposals are popular with families or people who want more control over their disposal.

Air switch models are great because they support the environmental consciousness that drives many to invest in a waste disposal. They also require far less electricity, instead relying mostly on the simple and sustainable power of air to efficiently chop up your food into manageable waste.

Batch Feed Waste Disposal Units

Batch feed waste disposals feature a cover control that enables you to feed your food waste through in increments.

The cover control is activated with an on/off switch that is powered by a plug. The cover control can be added to your waste disposal unit separately so you can convert your existing Insinkerator waste disposal unit to a batch feed setup. 

Batch feed waste disposals are popular as the disposal isn't on all the time and the cover gives you control over how much you feed in at once. However, some people may see this as a disadvantage as it may take longer if you have large amounts of food.

Continuous Feed Waste Disposal Units

If you don't have a batch feed or air switch disposal unit, you will have a continuous feed unit. 

With a continuous feed unit, the disposal is always on and will start grinding immediately as food or water is detected. The only way to shut off these units is at the mains. 

A continuous feed is the most convenient garbage disposal as you don't have to worry about a switch or disposing of your food in small increments.

Despite what a lot of people think, these units are not able to detect any difference between food and your finger or other objects. They won't automatically shut down so it's important to be careful when using them.

Shop Full Range of Waste Disposal Units

Now you’ve had an initial insight into the world of waste disposal units, why not delve a little deeper? 


We have provided you lucky lot with a prime example of the three main modern waste disposal unit types but we have many more great examples of each kind available right here in our expansive online store. So why not head right here to check out our full range of no less than 15 leading waste disposal units?

Here to Help

If you have absolutely any query that you’d like to run past our expert team here at Tap Warehouse then don’t hold back. No question is too small, no request too precise. 

If you have a question regarding one of our excellent waste disposal units, or anything to do with our expansive range of designer taps, then just reach out to us here and we’ll be delighted to sort you ou

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