quick question for US people: garbage disposals

After my last entry, Maria asked if garbage disposals are universal in the US. I said that to my knowledge they are nearly so – I’ve lived in Philadelphia, Houston, Phoenix and now Portland and have cooked in a few other places, everywhere from tiny towns to big cities, small apartments to big houses, and only one shared house I lived in as a student didn’t have one. Marveen disagreed, saying that she’s rarely had one and doesn’t know anyone who does. (I think she’s somewhere in the PNW.)

What say the rest of you? What places you’ve lived have or have not had them?

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4 Responses to quick question for US people: garbage disposals

  1. 'nora says:

    I’ve never had one. I’ve lived mostly in the mid-Atlantic, mostly in older houses (or older houses converted to apartments), and there’s never been a disposal.

    “Older houses” means “built before 1975” – my present home was built in 1974, and I’m pretty sure it’s the newest building I’ve ever lived in.

  2. Sarah H says:

    I have always had one except in the older house I grew up in until 1975. The “new” house my parents built in 1975 had a disposal and I’ve pretty much had one every since.

    That being said, my brother and his wife built a house in the country in Western Maryland about 2001 that has a septic system and they don’t have a garbage disposal. The food waste would upset the chemistry of the septic tank.

  3. mary d says:

    I’ve always had one — Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Omaha, South Bend, IN.

  4. Bex says:

    We’ve always had one as a couple for 26+ years living in a city but on the outskirts near the woods with a septic system that isn’t the least bit affected by the disposal if you treat it right and keep it cleaned out and maintained. Only twice did I not have one, in an old 2-family house in the city and in the home in which I grew up in a seaside town in Mass. I don’t know how anyone could live without a disposal. When ours broke once and had to be replaced with a new one, the few days we went with no disposal was too stinky…

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