Waste is part of everyday life for restaurants. From customer leftovers to kitchen scraps, organic food waste can be costly in terms of disposal fees. A sink disposer not only offsets the overall amount of organic, produce-based waste that would otherwise have to be hauled off to the local dump. These units should be an integral part of every sink in your restaurant’s kitchen, helping to grind down your bulk waste and labor costs!
What is a sink disposal unit?
Disposers, while simple in design, are not a cure-all for all of your organic garbage needs. Disposal units work by slicing and grinding down food items to be flushed into the local sewage system with the sink water. It’s convenient, and you can cut down on the labor of having to clean food particles out of the sink after washing dishes and can also grind down produce scraps such as vegetable peels and unsavory or spoiled fruit bits.
What can go in a disposer?
A huge issue arises when restaurants or consumers are indiscriminate about what goes down their disposal unit. Grease, meats, and pastas can all gunk up your system and cling onto the blades of your disposer. Over time, this can clog up your pipes and back up your system (not to mention, meats can get pretty smelly after just a few days!). In fact, these fats can build up in the local sewer system and cause MAJOR backups which can, in turn, shut down the system for maintenance. Also, consider what happens to certain items such as flours and starches when they come in contact with water. Some foods like rice actually SWELL when they hit water, and these scraps simply will not work well in your disposal unit. Stick to biodegradable, produce-based items to keep your unit clean and efficient.
Some Helpful Tips…
ALWAYS use copious amounts of cold water when you turn your disposal unit on. The slurry of water mixed with organic matter is easily drained when you run the sink water during disposal, and this keeps your pipes free of debris. Using cold water is necessary for best results as cold water solidifies any grease or fat, helping to flush it down the drain rather than building up in your pipes and on your disposal blades.
Freshen your unit at any time by grinding natural bacteria-fighting items like citrus peels and letting the acid sit in the disposer overnight! After washing dishes, you can also pour a little detergent in the disposer and run some cold water through it for a minute to help break down any build up grease and leave your sink with a fresh scent.
You can regularly scour the inside of your unit by dropping a few ice cubes into the disposer. This helps scrape any residue off of the walls of the disposer while breaking down fatty particles. Best of all is that ice is readily available, easy to use, and organic!
E Friedman Associates Inc