How To Avoid Garburator Problems

How to Avoid Garburator Problems

Garburators are both extremely convenient but finicky. In order to have a long-lasting garburator that will dispose of your food effectively, you’ll want to remember these simple tips. Though installing new garburators is now banned in Kelowna, we know there are many of you who still have it under your kitchen sink. Keep reading to find out what you can and can’t put down your garburator!

What is a Garburator?

“The garbage disposal is mounted to the underside of a sink and is designed to collect solid food waste in a grinding chamber. When you turn on the disposal, a spinning disc, or impeller plate, turns rapidly, forcing the food waste against the outer wall of the grinding chamber” (1).

It’s also known as a ‘garbage disposal’, ‘garbage disposal unit’, or ‘food disposal unit’ in other countries. A garburator is an efficient way of getting rid of your biodegradable waste. Just by turning on a switch, you can shred up all of your food waste into tiny pieces. 

It’s always important to run cold or warm water while shredding up food waste! It helps any oils, grease, and fat to be broken up and drained smoothly. Do NOT use hot water when disposing of food waste! “Hot water liquifies residual fats and grease, spreading them out in a thin layer along the system” (1). When the oil and fats spread through your pipes, you’re coating your pipes which will become a clogging issue down the line. Using hot water between disposal is recommended.

Just by looking at or in a kitchen sink, you may not be able to tell if it’s a garburator or not. So don’t stick your hand down a kitchen sink you are new to using!

Have you ever wondered where all of the biodegradable waste ends up in Calgary? Though this article by CBC may be older, it may still be interesting for you!

Avoid Garburator Problems

Avoiding Garburator Problems

Now that you know what a garburator or food disposal is, let’s uncover what’s appropriate to put in there. Remember that what you put down the garburator affects sewer lines. Improper use can clog drains and cause unpleasant odours! If you’re experiencing problems with your garburator, we’re here for you to repair and maintenance is for you.

What You Can Put In Your Garburator

What You Can Put in Your Garburator
  • Cold water and ice cubes
  • Biodegradable cleaners and dish soap
  • Small pits and bones: can be effective for cleaning your grind chamber!
  • Citruses: Traditional method of cleansing the system and reducing unpleasant odours.
  • Small amount of coffee grinds: large amounts will accumulate the natural oils in the coffee and clog your pipes. 

What You Should Never Put In Your Garburator

What You Should Never Put In Your Garburator
  • Animal fats and grease
  • Meat scraps
  • Cooking oils
  • Coffee grounds
  • Large pits and bones
  • Shellfish and crustacean shells
  • Eggshells
  • Carbohydrates: potato peels, pasta, bread, rice, and oats
  • Nut butters
  • Fibrous vegetables and fruits: banana peels, corn husks, rhubarb, asparagus, artichokes, and celery, to name a few.
  • Cigarette butts
  • Broken glass and plastic

Is There A Garburator Ban In Kelowna?

The City of Kelowna has a ban on garburator installations. Since this is the case, if you still have a garburator in your kitchen, you’ll want to be extra mindful about what you’re putting down your drain. City of Kelowna By-Law states: No person shall affix or install a household garbage grinder, garbage disposal unit or garburator of any nature or kind to any plumbing system so that the waste therefrom is discharged into the sanitary sewer system.

After much deliberation, there has been much hesitation about whether it is a good appliance to have installed for environmental reasons and wastewater collection problems. Aside from Kelowna,  other cities in Canada have also added a ban on new garburator installations due to sewer systems getting clogged from improper use. 

Garburators may be convenient for those who don’t do composting in their gardens. And it does reduce the amount of compost that goes out weekly in the green bins. So, to each their own! The most important thing to remember is: Use it wisely! Know that how you use your garburator can affect sewer systems. If you’re curious to find out whether garburators are environmentally friendly, this article is a fantastic article.

In Summary

To sum it up, garburators are a fantastic addition to your kitchen system for numerous reasons! If you have a garburator, you know how efficient it can be to have a simple way to dispose of your food waste. It can come with its headaches when the drains become clogged! Always remember your list of disposable and non-disposable food wastes. And to do a weekly or monthly cleaning with biodegradable products and household products that you have in your pantry. By maintaining your wonderful garburator, you’ll have your kitchen assistant working in tip-top shape to shred up your food waste and lessen your compost bin load.

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Sourced Cited:

  1. The Spruce: Everything You Need to Know About Garbage Disposals. Formisano, Bob. Dec 19, 2022.

City of West Kelowna: Sanitary Sewers and Wastewater.