Waste disposal unit

What is a Waste Disposal Unit?

Waste disposal units are a great alternative for dealing with home food waste

We’ve known for a long time that waste disposal units are fantastic appliances for disposing of home food waste. However we find that many people visiting us want to know more about them and find out exactly what is a waste disposal unit. They are in fact a little device that is fitted to the outlet drain of your sink, usually a half bowl. It can be turned on to mash or grind up all the non-liquid waste that collects in your kitchen sink. Once all the food waste has been ground down it can easily be washed down the waste pipes and it will be treated by your waste water company.

How much is a waste disposal unit and what are the running costs?

Food waste disposal units range in price from about £100 upwards depending on the size and ferocity of the unit plus the fitting costs. Running costs are just pennies a week – they use about the same as a 100 watt light bulb for 3 minutes of running time and less water than a short toilet flush. There are no extra costs required for disposable bin bags, no cleaning materials required and it will have paid for itself in 2 to 3 years. Your kitchen will stay clean and fresh by eliminating bagged waste – no nasty whiffs that attract insects and vermin and you’ll also free up the space that a caddy requires.

Sink with waste disposal unit

A sink with waste disposal unit is better than composting food waste; no space is required or the mess of a compost heap; it saves on landfill, and addresses the issue of greenhouse gasses, methane and CO2, as they are not captured and reused from landfill sites.

Food waste that has been through a food disposal unit is beneficial to the environment. It is sent through the pipes into the water system and goes to sewage treatment works. There it is put to good use and helps with the smooth operation of sewage treatment using the process of anaerobic digestion where it is converted to biogas which in turn generates power that is then sold on to the National Grid. 80% of sewage works use this process saving a whopping 19 million tonnes of food waste going to landfill sites.

Process of Food waste
Food Pyramid from all over the world.


Waste Disposal Units & Food Waste Facts

Worldwide food waste costs billions of pounds annually and creates massive environmental issues in its disposal costs, landfill costs and with the production of Methane & CO2 that damages the ozone layer.

The facts are startling and as much as possible should be done to help this situation and we can all do our bit!!

UK Food Waste Facts per Year

  • 38% of all fruit and vegetables is wasted – melons are the worst offenders at 25%
  • 35% of all fish and seafood
  • 30% of cereals
  • 20% of dairy products
  • 13% of meat
  • 22.4% of bread – a staggering 24 million slices
  • Food waste costs the average family £60 a month/£700 a year- that’s a weekend away!!
  • 11.7% of food purchases avoidably wasted
  • 15 million tonnes is wasted per year
  • 4.3 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away
  • 97% of food waste goes to landfill- that is 33 million tonnes!
  • Every tonne of food waste creates 3.8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions [Waste & Resources Action Programme WRAP]
  • Landfill food waste produces Methane which is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas [Environmental Protection Agency EPA]

What Can We Do To Help?

We can all do our bit to save money for ourselves and help our environment at the same time.

  • Only buy what you need.
  • Organise your fridge;
  1. Meat at the bottom- coldest area
  2. Eggs in the middle
  3. Butter & cheese at the top – warmest area
  4. Bottles & condiments in the door
  5. Salad and vegetables in the drawer
  • Keep cheese wrapped
  • Keep bread in a cool dark place & make breadcrumbs from stale bread
  • Don’t store fruit and vegetables together
  • Store potatoes, onions, squashes and garlic in a cool dark place
  • Store tomatoes at room temperature, stem side down
  • Freeze extra portions for use on another day

How to reduce food waste

Whatever food waste you do produce should not be put into your regular waste bin but in a recycle [brown] bin for collection.

If you have a garden don’t just focus on maintaining your garden gates and fencing – think about your plant maintenance too! If you have a garden then a compost bin is useful for creating your own compost, which your plants will love, create a nutrient rich compost out of all your:

  • Fruit and vegetable trimmings
  • Egg shells
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Remember no cooked food should be put into a garden compost bin.


How food waste is recycled



We hope you can see that a few simple changes can, and do, make all the difference. So if you hate your food waste and your smelly brown recycle bin, a waste disposal unit may be the answer. Come into our showroom and talk to the kitchen department for more information.