Food Waste Disposers

Food Waste Disposal and it's Environmental Impact

The modern, convenient way of handling your food waste.

General Information:

Food waste disposal unit located under a sink

Food waste disposal unit

What are they?

Food waste disposers are small electrical devises that process food waste to prevent it entering in your household bin and ending up in landfill. There are a clean, quiet and hassle free way of disposing food such as meat and even food that has been cooked and not eaten, or food that is simply past its use by date.

Where do they go?

They fit neatly under your kitchen sink and are connected to the drainage system and household electricity supply. They have on/off switches and are safe to use even with wet hands.

How do they work?

The devices use spinning blades to grind the food up in to tiny particles and the water from the tap washes it away down the drainage system. Studies have shown that food waste disposers have a negligible effect on water and energy consumption.

Why use them?

It is the modern convenient way of dealing with your food waste and great if you cannot compost at home. They are are suitable for all households and provide a cost effective way of dealing with your food waste.

How much do they cost?

Food waste disposers start from around £50 and are available in various sizes to suit the number of people in the household. They are cheap to run because they are only used for very short periods of time each day.

What are the benefits?

Here in Herefordshire and Worcestershire the waste products are used to create biogas via a process known as anaerobic digestion. This is then able to be used to create electricity and returned to the National Grid.

The Environmental Impact

The best environmental option is not to waste food in the first place and Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council fully support the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign which highlights the huge amount and cost of food wasted in the UK.  The campaign offers lots of practical advice and handy tips such as recipes for leftovers and meal planning.

We also support home composting as a way of dealing with food waste such as vegetable peelings and banana skins and promote subsidised compost bins for residents of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  However a compost bin is not suitable for everyone, for example someone who lives in a property without a garden or a person with mobility problems may struggle to home compost.  In these situations a food waste disposer may be the solution.

Worcestershire County Council has worked with The County Surveyors Society and consultant Dr Tim Evans to produce an Environmental Impact Study of Food Waste Disposers. You can currently download a synopsis or the full report using the links below.

This study examines the financial and environmental impacts of food waste disposers (FWD) and finds that they provide a cost-effective, convenient and hygienic means of separating putrescible domestic kitchen food waste (KFW) at source and diverting it from landfill. The study also finds that this route costs less and has a smaller global warming potential than the routes comprising kerbside collection followed by centralised composting or landfill.

Further to this we are an associated stakeholder in a study being conducted by WRc – Research Consultancy in Water, Waste and the Environment and are awaiting the results:

CP342 Impact of Using Sewers for Food Waste Disposal:

To examine this, and other issues, WRc has engaged with key stakeholders, including Water Companies, Central; Government and Local Government, to establish the National Food Waste Disposal. The planned programme, comprises is being funded by DEFRA and UKWIR and includes a series of co-ordinated and shared cost projects. These include technical assessment of the impact of using sewers to dispose of food and other macerated waste and a full sustainability assessment of the alternatives.

Read more about the WRc research into CP342