Is It Okay to Put Chicken Bones Down the Garbage Disposal?

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Is It Okay to Put Chicken Bones Down the Garbage Disposal?

Chicken Bones and Garbage Disposals Simply Don’t Mix

Garbage disposals are incredibly convenient kitchen appliances. And they make quick work of food scraps, reducing the amount of waste heading to the landfill. However, not everything should go down the disposal. But, what about chicken bones; do chicken bones and garbage disposals make a good match? To answer this questions, the experts at Billy the Sunshine Plumber explore whether it’s okay to put chicken bones down the garbage disposal and the potential consequences of doing so.

Understanding How Garbage Disposals Work

Before diving into the specifics of chicken bones, it’s essential to understand how a garbage disposal operates.

Garbage disposals are designed to shred food waste into small pieces that can pass through plumbing. And they do this using impellers (not blades) to grind the waste against a stationary grind ring. So. even though this process works well for many food scraps, there are times where it has its limits.

The Case Against Chicken Bones

  1. Risk of Clogs: Chicken bones can pose a significant risk of clogs. Because, unlike soft food waste, bones don’t break down easily and can get stuck in the pipes. And this can lead to blockages that are difficult and expensive to clear.
  2. Damage to the Disposal: While modern garbage disposals are robust, chicken bones can still damage them. Because, the hard, dense nature of bones can dull the impellers and cause mechanical failure over time. And this could result in costly repairs or the need for a replacement unit.
  3. Strain on Plumbing: Even if your garbage disposal manages to break down the bones, the fragments can cause issues further down the plumbing system. Because, smaller bone fragments can accumulate and create a buildup in the pipes, leading to slow drains and potential backups.

Environmental Considerations

While sending food waste through the disposal might seem eco-friendly, it can actually contribute to issues at wastewater treatment plants. Because, bones and other hard materials can disrupt the treatment process. And this can lead to inefficiencies and increased operational costs.

Alternatives to Using the Garbage Disposal

Given the potential problems, it’s wise to consider alternatives for disposing of chicken bones:

  1. Trash Bin: The simplest method is to place chicken bones in the trash. And while this adds to landfill waste, it prevents plumbing and disposal issues.
  2. Composting: If you’re looking to be more environmentally friendly, consider composting. Because, while bones take longer to decompose, they can be ground into smaller pieces and added to a compost bin designed for animal waste.
  3. Bone Broth: Another option is to repurpose the bones by making bone broth. Because, this not only prevents waste but also provides a nutritious and delicious base for soups and stews.

Go Ahead and Enjoy Your Chicken. But Remember, Your Garbage Disposal Won’t Enjoy it as Much as You Did. 

While the temptation to use your garbage disposal for chicken bones might be strong, it’s generally not a good idea. Because, the risks of clogs, damage to the disposal unit, and strain on your plumbing far outweigh the convenience. So, instead, opt for more sustainable and practical disposal methods to keep your kitchen running smoothly and your plumbing in good shape.

By taking a little extra care, you can maintain the life of your garbage disposal and avoid costly plumbing issues. So next time you have chicken bones to dispose of, remember: the garbage disposal isn’t the best option.

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