20 Garbage Disposal Unit Alternatives: Eco-friendly Ideas for Waste Management

Last updated on November 13, 2023

Discover 20 innovative alternatives to garbage disposal units that can help you manage waste efficiently, reduce your environmental impact, and promote a cleaner and greener home.

Are you tired of the constant hum of your garbage disposal unit? Or perhaps you’re looking for a more eco-friendly and budget-friendly option for disposing of food waste. Look no further! In this article, we’ll explore 20 alternative ways to dispose of food waste that are both creative and practical.

From composting to using food scraps in DIY projects, these ideas will not only save you money but also help reduce your carbon footprint. So let’s dive in and discover how to say goodbye to your noisy garbage disposal unit once and for all!


Composting is a great alternative to using a garbage disposal unit. It’s an easy and eco-friendly way to dispose of food scraps, yard waste, and other organic materials.

Composting involves breaking down these materials into nutrient-rich soil that can be used in gardens or for landscaping.

To start composting at home, you’ll need a compost bin or pile in your backyard. You can add things like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, leaves, grass clippings and more to the bin/pile.

It’s important not to include meat products as they attract pests such as rats which could cause problems later on. Also avoid adding any diseased plants or weeds with seeds that may spread throughout the garden when you use the finished product.

Worm Farm

It’s an easy and efficient way to turn your food scraps into nutrient-rich compost for your garden. Worms are excellent decomposers, breaking down organic matter quickly and efficiently.

To start a worm farm, you’ll need some red wiggler worms (Eisenia fetida), which can be purchased online or at local gardening stores. You’ll also need a container with drainage holes, bedding material such as shredded newspaper or cardboard, and food scraps.

Place the bedding material in the container along with the worms and add small amounts of food scraps regularly. The worms will eat their weight in food each day so don’t overfeed them! Keep the bin moist but not too wet by adding water when needed.

After several months of feeding your worms regularly they will produce rich compost that can be used on plants indoors or outdoors!.

Bokashi Bin

It’s an excellent alternative for those who don’t have outdoor space or want to avoid the smell of traditional composting. The process involves layering food scraps with bokashi bran, which contains beneficial microorganisms that help ferment and decompose the waste quickly.

Once full, the bin needs to be left for two weeks before transferring it into a regular composter or burying it in soil where it will continue breaking down into nutrient-rich fertilizer. Bokashi bins are compact and can fit under sinks or in small spaces making them ideal for apartment living as well as households with limited outdoor space.

They’re also low maintenance and require minimal effort compared to other compost systems while producing high-quality fertilizer perfect for indoor plants or balcony gardens!

Green Cone System

It uses solar energy and natural processes to break down food waste into water, carbon dioxide, and a small amount of residue. The cone-shaped unit is buried partially underground in your yard or garden, with only the top visible above ground level.

You simply add your food scraps into the basket at the top of the unit and let nature do its work.

The Green Cone system can handle all types of food waste including meat, fish bones, dairy products as well as vegetable scraps. It’s also odorless so you don’t have to worry about any unpleasant smells emanating from it.

One thing to keep in mind when using this system is that it requires direct sunlight for optimal performance so make sure you place it in an area that gets plenty of sun exposure throughout the day.

Chickens or Pigs (for Food Scraps)

If you have enough space in your backyard, consider raising chickens or pigs and feeding them with your food waste. Chickens will eat almost anything, including vegetable scraps, fruit peels, bread crusts and even small amounts of dairy products.

Pigs can consume larger quantities of food waste but require more space than chickens.

Before starting this alternative method for garbage disposal unit make sure to check local regulations regarding animal ownership as well as any restrictions on the types of animals allowed in residential areas.

Bio-digester Systems

These systems use microorganisms to break down organic waste, such as food scraps and yard trimmings, into nutrient-rich compost. The process is anaerobic, meaning it occurs in the absence of oxygen.

As the waste breaks down, biogas is produced which can be used for cooking or heating purposes.

There are different types of bio-digesters available on the market ranging from small-scale household units to large commercial ones. Some models require electricity while others operate using solar power or natural gas.

One advantage of bio-digester systems is that they significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to landfilling organic waste where it decomposes and releases methane – a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly towards climate change.

Another benefit of these systems is that they produce high-quality compost which can be used as fertilizer for plants instead of relying on synthetic fertilizers made from fossil fuels.

Food Waste Dehydrator

It works by removing the moisture from food scraps, reducing their volume and weight significantly. The dried material can then be used as compost or fertilizer for plants.

Food waste dehydrators are available in different sizes and models, ranging from small countertop units to larger ones suitable for commercial use.

One of the benefits of using a food waste dehydrator is that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfilling organic matter. When organic materials decompose in landfills, they produce methane gas which contributes significantly to climate change.

Food waste dehydrators are also easy to use and require minimal maintenance compared to other composting methods such as worm farms or bokashi bins. They typically have automatic sensors that regulate temperature and airflow levels during operation.

Many farmers are happy to take in food scraps as they can use them for composting, feeding their animals, or even creating biogas. Animal shelters also appreciate donations of fresh produce and other foods that can be used as treats for their furry residents.

Before donating, it’s important to check with the farm or shelter first about what types of foods they accept and any specific guidelines they may have regarding drop-off times or locations. By donating your food scraps instead of throwing them away, you’ll not only be helping out others but also doing your part in reducing landfill waste!

Community Composting Programs

These programs often turn the collected waste into nutrient-rich soil for use in local gardens and parks. Some communities even offer curbside pickup of food scraps, making it easy for residents to participate.

Participating in a community composting program not only helps reduce waste but also supports local agriculture by providing a sustainable source of fertilizer. These programs can help build stronger communities by bringing people together around a common goal.


It involves the use of worms to break down food scraps and other organic waste into nutrient-rich compost. The process is simple, affordable, and can be done indoors or outdoors.

To start vermicomposting, you will need a worm bin that provides enough space for the worms to move around freely. You can either purchase one or make your own using materials such as plastic containers or wooden boxes.

Next, add bedding material such as shredded newspaper or cardboard at the bottom of the bin before adding food scraps on top. Be sure not to overfeed your worms; they only eat about half their weight in food each day.

As time passes by, you will notice that your worm bin has turned into rich compost known as “worm castings.” This compost can be used in gardens and potted plants instead of chemical fertilizers.

ShareWaste App

The app aims to reduce food waste by allowing users to share their organic waste, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells with others in their community. This helps divert the organic matter from landfills while providing valuable resources for gardening or composting projects.

The process is simple: users create an account on the ShareWaste app and indicate whether they are a “waste donor” or “waste acceptor.” Waste donors can then post details about what type of organic material they have available for pickup. Waste acceptors can browse through listings in their area and connect with donors to arrange pick up times.

This innovative solution not only reduces food waste but also fosters community connections between individuals interested in sustainable living practices.

Electric Composter

It uses heat and agitation to break down food scraps into nutrient-rich soil in just a few hours. Electric composters are easy to use, compact, and can be used indoors or outdoors.

One of the benefits of using an electric composter is that it eliminates the need for outdoor composting bins or piles which may not be practical for those living in apartments or with limited outdoor space. They do not require any manual turning like traditional composting methods.

While electric composters can be more expensive than other alternatives on this list, they are still cost-effective over time as you will save money on fertilizer costs while reducing your carbon footprint by diverting waste from landfills.

Solar Digester

It uses the power of the sun to break down food waste into compost. The process involves placing food scraps in an enclosed container that has been designed with insulation and ventilation, allowing it to heat up and decompose quickly.

Solar digesters are easy to use, require no electricity or water, and produce nutrient-rich compost that can be used in gardens or potted plants.

To set up your own solar digester at home, you will need a few basic materials such as an insulated container (such as a plastic bin), some straw or sawdust for added insulation, and some soil or finished compost for inoculation purposes. Simply layer your food scraps with these materials inside the container until it’s full then place it outside where there is plenty of sunlight exposure.

It’s important not to add any meat products into your solar digester since they take longer time than other organic matter like fruits & vegetables which may cause unpleasant odors if left too long without proper decomposition.

In-sink Strainer Basket

It fits right into your sink drain and catches any food scraps or debris that would otherwise go down the drain. The basket can be easily removed, emptied, and cleaned as needed.

In-sink strainer baskets come in different sizes to fit various sink types, so make sure you choose one that’s compatible with your sink before purchasing it. While this option doesn’t completely eliminate food waste from your home, it does prevent clogs in your pipes and reduces the amount of waste going into landfills or waterways.

Plus, using an in-sink strainer basket is much more environmentally friendly than relying on a garbage disposal unit powered by electricity!

Freezing Food Scraps for Later Use

Instead of throwing away vegetable peels, onion skins, and other scraps, simply store them in a freezer-safe container or bag until you have enough to make homemade broth. You can also freeze fruit that is starting to go bad for smoothies or baking projects.

This method not only reduces waste but also provides you with ingredients that are free of preservatives and additives found in store-bought broths or frozen fruits. Plus, it’s an easy way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals without spending extra money on ingredients!

Meal Planning to Reduce Waste

By planning your meals ahead of time, you can buy only what you need and use up ingredients before they go bad. Start by taking inventory of the items in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Then plan out your meals for the week based on what you already have on hand. Make a grocery list with only the items that are necessary to complete those meals.

When shopping at the store, stick to your list as much as possible and avoid impulse buys or bulk purchases unless it’s something that will be used frequently or has a long shelf life.

Another tip is to incorporate “leftover nights” into your meal plan where one night per week is dedicated solely to using up any leftovers from previous dinners instead of letting them go bad in the fridge.

Store-bought Compost Bins

They come in various sizes and styles, making it easy to find one that fits your needs and budget. These bins can be placed indoors or outdoors, depending on the space available.

Some models have features like ventilation systems or tumbling mechanisms that help speed up the composting process.

When choosing a store-bought compost bin, consider factors such as size, durability, ease of use and maintenance requirements. Look for models made from high-quality materials like recycled plastic or metal that will last for years without breaking down.

One advantage of using store-bought compost bins is their convenience – they require minimal effort to set up and maintain compared to other alternatives like worm farms or bokashi bins. Many local hardware stores carry these products so you can easily purchase them without having to wait for shipping times.

DIY Trash-to-treasure Projects

Not only do they help reduce waste, but they can also add unique and personalized decor to your home. Some ideas for DIY projects include turning old glass jars into candle holders or vases, using wine corks as drawer knobs or creating wall art from discarded wood pallets.

The possibilities are endless and with a little creativity, you can turn almost anything into something beautiful and functional for your home. Plus, these projects often cost very little money since you’re using materials that would have been thrown away anyway!

Reusable Produce Bags

They come in different sizes and materials, such as cotton or mesh, and can be used for fruits, vegetables, nuts or bulk items. Not only do they reduce waste but also keep your produce fresh for longer by allowing air circulation.

You can find them online or at local stores that sell eco-friendly products. Some brands even offer washable options that make cleaning easy and convenient.

By using reusable produce bags you not only save money on buying plastic ones but also contribute to reducing the amount of plastic waste in landfills and oceans!

Local Recycling Centers

They offer an easy and convenient way to dispose of waste while also helping the environment. Recycling centers accept a wide range of materials, including paper, plastic, glass, metal cans and more.

By separating your recyclables from other waste products you can help reduce landfill space and conserve natural resources.

Many local recycling centers also offer educational programs that teach people about the importance of reducing their carbon footprint by properly disposing of their waste in an environmentally friendly manner. Some even provide incentives for those who recycle regularly such as discounts on future purchases or free items.

In addition to traditional recycling services many communities now have specialized facilities that accept hazardous household wastes like batteries or electronics which should not be thrown away with regular trash due to environmental concerns.

Overall using local recycling centers is a simple yet effective way for homeowners looking for alternatives to garbage disposals units while still being able maintain clean living spaces without harming our planet’s ecosystem.


Liked this article? Here's what you can read next: