Is There A Perfect Garbage Disposal?

There’s no denying the fact that garbage disposals are a convenient tool to have handy! Keep in mind though, referring to it as a “garbage” disposal technically defeats the purpose as the one thing you DON’T want to put in it is garbage. While it often serves in a workhorse role in the kitchen, it’s not unstoppable. If your disposal doesn’t possess enough power or durability, not only could it’s performance suffer, but it could easily take a toll on your plumbing pipes as well! 

From compiling a list of things you should never put in your disposal to frequently asked garbage disposal questions, it’s no secret that we love talking about them! Why? Well, in short, it’s one of the most common plumbing failures that Kansas City homeowners deal with each and every year! Unless you want to have one of the friendly faces from Stine-Nichols visit you every month, it’s important to be knowledgeable about garbage disposals. Just by knowing what your disposal can and can’t handle, as well as how to spot a quality garbage disposal model, can go a long way to keeping your Kansas City plumbing system secure!

This week on the blog, we’ll take a look at garbage disposals from a consumer’s point of view. We’ll examine the different manufacturers in the market today and create some ranking figures on what features a quality garbage disposal must possess! 

Environmental Impact

Believe it or not, there’s actually long been a debate about whether or not garbage disposals are truly eco-friendly. Of course, this debate is largely centered around garbage disposals vs landfills on being better for the environment. In reference to the 1970’s, an article from CityLab stated that “officials in New York City banned in-sink kitchen garbage disposals over concerns about aging sewer systems and discharge of raw organic refuse into nearby rivers.” However, much of this confusion has since proved to be false, as garbage disposals are now found in the majority of households.

With this in mind, various studies have proven garbage disposals to be more beneficial when it comes to energy concerns, soil productivity and yes, climate impact! This doesn’t even take into account the potential it has for renewable energy production, which is another topic in it’s own right! In the end, the debate comes down to one statement: Waste is inevitable. It’s as simple as that, it’s always going to exist. As a society though, we need to recognize that it can also be utilized in conservation efforts and garbage disposals can be a major player in this discussion. While there’s technically not any garbage disposal models that are better or worse for the environment than the rest, I felt it was important to debunk this myth before getting into the rest of the blog.

Noise Level

Since garbage disposals are a convenient household appliance, the last thing you want it to be is loud and annoying. Inevitably, garbage disposals are always going to make some noise when they’re grinding the food, but there’s definitely some noisier options on the market. If noise level is an important quality to your situation, you should immediately take a look at the Insinkerator Evolution Excel garbage disposal. Thanks to it’s SoundSeal Technology, it “delivers Ultra-Quiet performance allowing you to hold a conversation with normal voices in the same room.”


Depending on how much you intend on using the garbage disposal, you’ll want to make sure it’s up to the test and won’t break down! With this, you’ll primarily be examining one characteristic: motor strength. The ideal garbage disposal will not only be strong enough to tackle significant amounts of waste, but also able to grind it up to very small pieces. Why is the second half of this statement so important? Well, that’s often the difference between clogged up drains and clean ones! Here’s the primary horsepower classifications:

⅓ HP (1-2 people): This is going to be your most affordable (and weakest) option on the market. While it can’t handle significant amounts of work, it can definitely work well for people living alone or in an apartment.

½ HP (1-3 people): Next level up, we have the ½ HP models. They pack a slightly bigger punch than the ⅓ options, but still can’t handle much more than light usage.

¾ HP (3-6 people): When you get above ½ HP, you find yourself amongst options capable of grinding up bones and fibrous vegetables. While these can be harmful to your pipes in the long run, they’ll be taken care of by the disposal for the immediate future. These are ideal for the typical 4-5 person household, as they can withstand that usage.

1 HP+ (6+ people): And whenever you get above 1 HP, you’re looking at the options that are capable of serving larger households and even commercial use.

In today’s market, it’s no surprise that the Insinkerator Evolution Excel also ranks highly when it comes to strength. It possesses many features, such as MultiGrind Technology, 1 HP motor and a jam-sensor torque that “automatically increases torque to break through tough jams.”

Another model that packs a significant punch is Waste King’s L-8000. Featuring their 1 HP Vortex motor, you’ll find yourself easily grinding through tough scraps. Much like the Evolution Excel, this model also possesses a high speed magnet motor that’s designed to reduce any potential jamming.


In a perfect world, everyone would get the latest and greatest in garbage disposal technology. However, for a number of reasons, including space under the sink, that’s not always the case! While we’ve hit on the concepts of noise level, effect on the environment and strength thus far, it’s important to note there are plenty of affordable options out there too! While these might interrupt your conversations or break down quicker, more often than not, they still get the job done. Here’s a couple to consider:

¾ HP at under a hundred bucks? Definitely not a bad deal! That’s where the Waste King L-3200 comes in at. With a ¾ HP motor, it’ll easily be able to get most disposal jobs done. Additionally, as like the majority of Waste King products, it surprisingly has terrific insulation and is not as noisy as other options at this price point.

Another affordable option out there is the Insinkerator Evolution Compact. It runs around $180 and features a ¾ HP. It’s also going to be much quieter than your average garbage disposal. For a homeowner, the difference between this and the previously mentioned Waste King L-3200 is the design aesthetic. If a more modern and refined look is a difference maker, you’ll probably want to lean towards one of the Insinkerator models, as opposed to a Waste King.

What Fits You!

As with nearly every household appliance, the purchasing decision comes down to your personal situation. For some, design is important and as a result, an Insinkerator is at the top of your wish list. While others may simply care about performance, which opens up a larger playing field. In any case, the one factor you don’t want to neglect is usage. Depending on your family size, make sure to get the corresponding horsepower to get the job done! Feel free to refer to the strength category as a cheat sheet!

If you ever need a recommendation of what fits your budget and needs best, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 816-348-3481. We’re happy to help Kansas City homeowners ensure they’re getting the most bang for their buck when it comes to garbage disposals and any other plumbing purchases! We work throughout the Kansas City area and the surrounding cities, including Parkville, Gladstone, Liberty and all of Johnson County!

By |2019-10-23T16:06:04-05:00October 23rd, 2019|Residential Plumbing, Tips and Tricks|