InSinkErator – Sustainability

Each year in the United States, nearly 34 million tons of food waste is trucked to landfills. Once there, it quickly decomposes and produces methane, an environmentally harmful greenhouse gas at least 21 times more potent than CO2.

While composting provides one approach to tackling America’s food waste management challenge, it isn’t always practical for today’s busy lifestyle.

Enter InSinkErator®. Our food waste disposers provide a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to transporting leftovers to landfills. Plus, capable wastewater treatment plants can even recycle food scraps into energy and fertilizer.

Durable. Practical. And environmentally responsible. A recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of common ways to dispose of food scraps reported that disposers can help reduce global warming potential vs. landfills and in some cases, can even aid in energy production at the wastewater treatment plant. Click LCA to read more.

Managing Food Waste

Now more than ever, climate change, land, and air pollution touch our lives. Fortunately, while there’s no single “silver bullet” for managing and getting rid of the world’s waste, even the simple things we do can have an important impact on the environment—like using an InSinkErator® disposer to keep food waste out of landfills.

Facts & Figures:

  • In the United States, about 250 million tons of municipal solid waste (otherwise known as trash or garbage) was generated in 2008.
  • About 135 million tons of municipal solid waste (54%) was discarded in landfills.
  • Food waste accounted for 31.79 million tons (or 12.7%) of total municipal solid waste.
  • Only 2.5% of the food waste generated was recovered.
  • The amount of food waste generated in the U.S. in 2008 (31.7million tons) has more than doubled since 1960 (12.2 million tons).

*Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008

Recycling Food Waste

When you use an InSinkErator® disposer and send food scraps down the drain to a wastewater treatment facility, you keep waste out of landfills and help lower greenhouse gas emissions. But that’s just the beginning…

Wastewater facilities feed the food waste and other organic solids to microscopic organisms that are used to treat wastewater. During this digestion process, methane gas is produced. Treatment plants can capture the biogas and, in turn, use it to generate renewable energy to power the facility—resulting in savings for customers.

Then, once the wastewater treatment process is completed, any residuals—also known as biosolids—can be turned into fertilizer or soil conditioner for use in agriculture and home gardening.