Disposers: An Overview

Disposers can help reduce trash hauling costs, eliminate food waste odors and decrease labor by minimizing trips to the dumpster.

Disposers can process most types of food waste. Even scraps that are more difficult to grind can be deposited in these systems. But horsepower determines the operational capacity and volume. When buying a disposer, foodservice operators can choose from a wide range of configurations, with ½-, ¾-, 1-, 1 ½-, 2-, 3-, 5-, 7½- and 10-horsepower units available.

Housing construction can be aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron that can be coated or plated. A majority of cutting mechanisms are available and made of rust-resistant nickel, stainless steel or austempered heavy ductile iron.

Disposers with rotor-fixed cutting teeth are the most commonly used, although units with swivel cutting teeth or a hammermill grinder are available. All types include a cutter operating at high speed inside a stationary shredder ring.

Systems purchased with a sink assembly are mounted to the bottom of the sink and include weld-in or bolt-in adaptors. Disposers with a cone assembly include a 12-, 15- or 18-inch stainless steel cone bowl welded into a table.

Voltage options include 115, 208, 230 and 460, with single and triple phase units available. Disposers are operated with either a standard electrical wall switch or electronic controls. Manual reverse switches can extend the life of the cutting blades, while also unjamming stuck food waste. Automatic reversing controls also are offered.

Options for these units include magnets, which prevent flatware and metallic items from getting caught in the disposer, and special wrenches to assist with jams.

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