Blessing Or Curse: Are Waste Disposal Units Threatening Planet Earth?

By Jackie Edwards
25 August, 2018 (last modified 18 September, 2018)


Australians throw away approximately 3.1 million tonnes of edible food per year. Not disposing of food waste properly poses an enormous threat to our environment. Life on earth depends on the soil as a source for food. It is one of the most important natural resources on earth. Are we enriching our soil or are we polluting it? Let’s look at the impact of using waste disposal units, how blocked drains can harm our environment, and what we can do in terms of being responsible.

In terms of environmental sustainability

Sustainability means that we take care of the needs of our planet to ensure that it can provide for future generations to come. We are currently at a population of 7.6 billion people. With a baby being born every 1 minute and 44 seconds in Australia alone, it won’t take very long to reach full capacity. Measures can be taken to ensure that we leave a legacy including feeding our soil. If the soil is rich and unpolluted, our produce and earth foliage will be rich in nutrients. However, if the soil is full of toxins, it can have a negative impact on crops and potentially, on everyone’s health.

Should you get a waste disposal unit?

A waste disposal unit grinds up leftover food into small pieces that will then pass into your plumbing system without clogging your drain. If something gets stuck, it is your responsibility to get it unclogged to minimise the effect on the environment. There are lots of things that you should never put into your waste disposal unit such as egg shells (excellent for fertilising soil), coffee grounds, rice, pasta, and oils. Non-food items such as medicine, paper towels etc. are not only harmful to the unit, but can have a negative impact on the environment.

Pros and cons

There are many benefits to using waste disposal units, but there are also serious issues that can arise. Waste disposal units are affordable and easy to use, limits odors and reduces the impact on city garbage collectors. The main issue with it is that it can trap rotting food, which can start smelling. And as with all gadgets and appliances, a malfunction or a total break down is inevitable.

Clogged drains, a major disaster

Clogged drains attract pests and bacteria. Any items improperly disposed of run the risk of ending up in our environment. Waste toxins cause harm to plants, animals, and humans by polluting the soil and air and contribute to bacteria growth.

The solution is to educate households on proper waste disposal, making use of a compost heap to fertilise your garden soil and use the waste disposal unit for the minimum food that does slip through. Some local councils encourage home composting by providing households with home compost bins. Ensure that you use your waste disposal unit responsibly, and dispose of unsuitable waste in the proper manner. Fix blocked drains as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary environmental damage. The survival of our future generations depends on it.


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