Services for You Water & Wastewater Wastewater Sewer use by-law enforcement Sinks are not trash cans

Sinks are not trash cans

kitchen sinkDid you know?

  • Food waste grinder discharges to the local sanitary plant for treatment.
  • Water treatment and tax costs rise substantially with food waste in our sewers.
  • Food waste from food waste grinders can cause your sewer to back up.
  • Water required to flush organics through pipes increases your water bills.
  • The use of food waste grinders has been banned in some communities. 
  • Organic waste is better used for composting.


What is a food waste grinder?

A food waste grinder is an appliance that is installed beneath the kitchen sink to grind food wastes into small particles, which are then discharged into the sewer system with the aid of tap water.

Food waste grinders offer convenience, allowing for the immediate disposal of kitchen food waste down the drain. However, this convenience needs to be balanced against the initial capital cost, maintenance and eventual replacement of the food waste grinder, and potential clogging of our sewer system.


Why are they bad?

Food waste grinders can cause blockages in sewer pipes and pumping stations because they increase food particles and grease.
They can also block the line that leads from your house, causing sewage to backup into your home.

Added organic waste to our sewer system means added loads to treat at waste facilities. This directly increases operating costs and in the end increases taxes for the municipality. Food waste grinders don’t really solve any waste problems, they just shift them to the wastewater treatment facilities.


What you should do

  • Remove old food waste grinders that you currently have installed
  • Scrape all food scraps into the trash
  • Put strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids. Empty the strainers into your trash or composter for disposal
  • Put food scraps into a composter


Cost conscious

It has been estimated that one household in one year can use up to 4,000 litres of water to flush organics down a food waste grinder. This puts an unnecessary strain on the local water supply and increases your monthly water bill.

Other methods of organic waste disposal are not quite as hard on treatment facilities. More maintenance to sewage treatment
facilities will mean higher taxes.

Cost to treat food waste grinder = $$$ per tonne
Cost to landfill = $$$ per tonne
Cost to compost in backyard = $0 per tonne



Towns, municipalities and cities have by-laws in place that limit the amount of solids you can put into the sewer system. In using a food waste grinder, you are likely putting yourself in contravention of the sewage by-law limits.

Food waste grinders may be prohibited in your area. Be sure to check your local by-law regulations.