The effect of food waste disposers on municipal waste and wastewater management

Waste Manag Res. 2005 Feb;23(1):20-31. doi: 10.1177/0734242X05050078.


This paper examines the feasibility of introducing food waste disposers as a waste minimization option within urban waste management schemes, taking the Greater Beirut Area (GBA) as a case study. For this purpose, the operational and economic impacts of food disposers on the solid waste and wastewater streams are assessed. The integration of food waste disposers can reduce the total solid waste to be managed by 12 to 43% under market penetration ranging between 25 and 75%, respectively. While the increase in domestic water consumption (for food grinding) and corresponding increase in wastewater flow rates are relatively insignificant, wastewater loadings increased by 17 to 62% (BOD) and 1.9 to 7.1% (SS). The net economic benefit of introducing food disposers into the waste and wastewater management systems constitutes 7.2 to 44.0% of the existing solid waste management cost under the various scenarios examined. Concerns about increased sludge generation persist and its potential environmental and economic implications may differ with location and therefore area-specific characteristics must be taken into consideration when contemplating the adoption of a strategy to integrate food waste disposers in the waste-wastewater management system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cities
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Food Industry*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / economics
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water Movements