Spec Check: Disposers

Disposers provide an efficient and sanitary way to get rid of food waste. Foodservice operators should weigh a number of considerations when specifying these systems.

Municipality Regulations

Some municipalities prohibit disposer use or have regulations regarding the utilization of these systems. Foodservice operators should check with local zoning or municipal boards to ensure these units can be used and if there are any requirements, such as the use of interceptors or grease traps.

Size and Horsepower

The type of disposer needed depends on an operation's size and the amount of waste produced. The more waste that is produced, the higher the horsepower needed for processing. Disposer horsepower ranges from ½ to 10. When in doubt, it's better to go bigger rather than smaller to ensure the amount of waste can be handled.

Food Waste

Although disposers can handle almost any type of food waste, hard organics, such as meat bones and shellfish, can take a toll on these systems. It's recommended that foodservice operators limit this type of waste, which can dull the cutting mechanism and shorten the life of the disposer. High volume foodservice operations should consider choosing a disposer with a reverse switch. These systems utilize both sides of the cutting blade and can almost double the service life of the disposer.

Drain Line Size

The drain line size should be considered, to ensure efficient operation and help circumvent sink backups. Some manufacturers provide free site surveys to ensure the disposer's drain line can handle the foodservice operation's waste.

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