Supply House Times

Food Waste Disposers Included In National Green Building Standard

March 11, 2009

The National Association of Home Builders has recognized the positive role food waste disposers play as part of an environmentally responsible home waste management system. The installation of disposers will now contribute one point toward a building’s achievement of the organization’s National Green Building Standard certification.

There are a minimum number of points required for each of the seven guiding principles, at various levels, to ensure that all aspects of green building are addressed when constructing an environmentally friendly building. The standard defines what green practices can be incorporated into residential development and construction and how homeowners can operate and maintain green homes.

“The decision to assign one certification point to builders for installing disposers signifies an important step in educating builders and consumers - nationally and internationally - that food waste disposers play a beneficial role in environmental responsibility,” said David MacNair, vice president of marketing at InSinkErator.

But how is a food waste disposer environmentally responsible? Because food waste is 70 percent water, it is best treated by grinding it in a disposer and sending it down a drain to be processed in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Many large municipal treatment plants capture the methane that’s a byproduct of treatment and convert it into renewable energy. Wastewater treatment plants can also recycle the biosolids, turning it into compost-like fertilizer.

Using a disposer helps reduce biodegradable waste put into the trash, in turn reducing the waste sent to landfills. More than two dozen independent studies confirm that disposers can play an essential and compelling role in solving the waste management challenge.

And disposers themselves have a modest environmental footprint, using less than one percent of a household’s water consumption and less than 50 cents a year in electricity to operate. Composed primarily of metal, they can be recycled at the end of their useful life            

For more information, visit InSinkErator at www.insinkerator.com or NAHB's Green Building Program at www.nahbgreen.com.