Home: Kitchen: Garbage Disposal
Compost disposal   (+10)  [vote for, against]
For the lazy

In sink garbage disposals are very convenient, but not the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of food scraps. Composting is ideal, but no one wants to leave scraps in the kitchen and only get around to taking them outside when they smell bad enough.

So, let's keep the handy garbage disposal unit, but reroute the plumbing to a dedicated compost line. Like a grey water line, it runs parallel to the regular sewer line, collecting the fluid for reuse. In this case, the food sludge is directed outside to the compost pile, draining the excess water.

This would be especially useful in cities, where an entire apartment building can have a community compost pile. Now people can use their garbage disposal like always, taking comfort in knowing they're destroying the environment a tiny bit less.
-- Aq_Bi, Mar 16 2011

Cooking with methane http://www.ruralcostarica.com/biogas.html
Costa Rica Biogas Project [Klaatu, May 03 2011]

I do take out the compost, as I live in a rural area, but this a great alternative for those who have garbage disposal units. I would also suggest they change the name to promote the composting! Compost disposal unit makes more sense, as you are not to throw *garbage* in there anyway. It's kind of funny or sad, but in other, poorer countries, all those carrot shreds, onion skins, etc. go into a big pot of soup or stew!
-- xandram, Mar 16 2011

I like the name, [xandram]. I take out the compost myself too. Yesterday the pile happened to be buried under snow and blocked by other obstacles, which led me to the idea for laziness.
-- Aq_Bi, Mar 17 2011

Even given the use of kitchen scraps for stock, there are plenty of things which go into the compost, though thanks to [UnaBubba], we no longer throw coffee grounds away. However, stock remnants persist and, being cooked, are supposedly unsuitable for composting because they would encourage rodents (or possums? Dunno, ask him). Nevertheless we compost cooked scraps. The biggest problem is the quantity, particularly in the winter.
-- nineteenthly, Mar 17 2011

why don't you throw coffee grounds away?
-- hippo, Mar 17 2011

Because they can be used for dyeing and making body scrub.
-- nineteenthly, Mar 17 2011

//in other, poorer countries, all those carrot shreds, onion skins, etc. go into a big pot of soup or stew!//

Well, I'm not much of a cook though I do enjoy the practice and occasionally the results, but onion skins are only used as a dye: they have no real nutritional value. And carrot shreds are non-existant 'round here since carrots get scrubbed, not flayed. I'm still looking for a use for carrot-greens [edit] though a possible allergen they can be eaten, or used in making stock.
-- FlyingToaster, Mar 17 2011

rodents are part of the ecosystem too. not composting cooked leftovers is just silly.
-- prufrax, Mar 17 2011

I think one issue is that cooked material rots rather malodorously.

//rodents are part of the ecosystem too//
... as are snakes, scorpions, wolves, etc.: all sorts of things you don't want hanging 'round your door demanding a handout.
-- FlyingToaster, Mar 17 2011

I'd like to start composting stuff, but there's this fox that keeps leaving great big poops on our back lawn and I'm worried that if I go to the effort of trudging down to the end of the garden to throw out the scraps, I'll end up trudging in the left-behinds of the fox on my way back in. Any fox/cat deterrent ideas to help promote composting? In the absence of that, this is a jolly good idea.[+]
-- zen_tom, Mar 17 2011

//garbage disposals are very convenient, but not the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of food scraps//

Is that true? I presume the minced gunk goes into the sewerage system, and thence to a sewage treatment plant where it goes into a digestor along with all the other ... stuff.

I'd always assumed that the end products of treatment are relatively clean water, and some sort of composty gunk. Where does it all go?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2011

I like this idea. I posted it once under the name In-sink-composterator in '03 I think it was. It was deleted.
I still think it's awesome and plan to incorporate the concept into the dream home I might finally get to build someday.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 18 2011

The ultimate goal for food scrap disposal is the Mr.Fusion reactor that powered the DeLorean in Back to the Future.
-- rcarty, Mar 18 2011

// onion skins are only used as a dye: they have no real nutritional value //

I wouldn't say that was an internally consistent statement. If something appeals visually, for instance if it's coloured, it's more likely to be eaten. On the other hand, if you're starving that's unlikely to be an issue.
-- nineteenthly, Mar 18 2011

Does any part of the onion have nutritional value?
-- rcarty, Mar 18 2011

The steak part of the onion is rich in protein. Or maybe I'm thinking of steak-with-onions.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 18 2011

Since you would have a good amount of water, why not send it to a biodigester <link>. No holding tanks for //collecting fluid for reuse// and no rodents in the compost pile. Also, a simple PVC ball valve would allow rerouting the waste with a minimal amount additional plumbing. This seems far over-engineered. Or, did I just take too many meds today? Still a [+] in my book for an idea that encourages composting and makes an effort to make it easier.
-- Klaatu, May 03 2011

Grumpy man. Where do you live that there are foxes? BTW, you gave me an idea.
-- pashute, May 05 2011

random, halfbakery