What Should Not Be Placed in a Waste Disposal?

hand pulling stopper out of the garbage disposal with sink full of food

Regarding what is not permitted in your waste disposal, the answer is non-biodegradable food items. This consists of cigarette butts, metal, paper, and any kind of wood. Others may seem harmless enough to toss away yet can create issues in the long term. These consist of:

  • Potato Skins: Potato skins tend to compact when wet to produce a thick paste, which then dries and clogs various waste disposal mechanisms; thus, they should be removed from the disposal. The same holds true for other solid, fibrous meals like corn and onion skins. Asparagus and other foods that may get trapped in the impeller and create clogging are ideal for compost containers.
  • Grease, oil, or fats: You may question whether you may dispose of grease via the garbage disposal, but the answer is always "no." Likewise, you should not put oil in the sink for the same reason. Additionally, you must keep it away from the garbage disposal. Grease and oil residues may collect and eventually block waste disposal mechanisms.
  • Nuts and Shells: Anything that is too difficult to grind might create issues, and nuts are often too tough for garbage disposals. Attempting to do so runs the danger of causing long-term issues with the disposal. Similarly, the majority of shells are either overly rigid or contain additional membranes that may wrap around the waste disposal mechanism and prevent it from functioning.
  • Large bones: Similarly, thick and brittle bones are more suitable for composting than disposal. Bones from animals such as cows and pigs cannot be broken down, making them unsuitable for disposal and difficult to break.
  • Eggshells: Eggshell does not create any issues when flushed down the toilet. The eggshell membrane is the source of the issue. The membrane is very sticky, may adhere to the edges of the drain, and can readily obstruct the passage of subsequent debris.
  • Rice, pasta, and bread: They are known to expand when soaked in water for an extended period of time; thus, it is better to keep them away from the garbage disposal. These foods absorb flowing water and swell, resulting in a clogged pipe.


As a general rule, only biodegradable food items should be disposed away in the waste disposal. Some suggested waste disposal items include:

  • Most vegetable and fruit waste: Tomatoes, apples, and cucumbers are ideal for garbage disposal, as are the majority of vegetable and fruit scraps. Fibrous or stringy fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and celery, are more suitable for compost bins.
  • Small bones: small and soft meals are simple to disassemble for disposal. Therefore, if you want to dispose of bones there, ensure that they are little, such as those from a chicken. Chicken bones are far smaller and more fragile than those of cows and pigs, and they may readily disintegrate when discarded.
  • Cooked leftover: must be tiny and mushy in order to be disposed of through the garbage disposal. If it is too large, trim it before discarding it. And throw it in increments.
  • Small coffee grounds: Some coffee grounds may be tossed into the garbage disposal, which can help maintain a clean and fresh odor. However, excessive coffee residue may block drains and create plumbing issues.
  • Citrus peels: Lemon and lime peels, as well as orange peels, can serve dual purpose in trash management. The use of orange and lemon zest in the garbage disposal is not only a terrific method to dispose of waste, but it also helps to loosen food that may be stuck to internal systems.

Small ice cubes: Similar to orange and lemon zest, ice helps keep the garbage disposal clean and fresh. However, big and hard items are not advised for waste disposal, hence it is suggested to utilize only little ice cubes.