Wife Throwing Dinner Scraps in the Sink Instead of the Trash Sparks Debate

A woman who chucks her dinner scraps in the sink rather than the trashcan has sparked a fierce debate online, with some people branding the habit "disgusting."

Redditor Kirby5801, aka Nathan Amstutz, shared a photo of a plug clogged with food to the site's Mildly Infuriating forum on Wednesday, where it's already amassed nearly 25,000 upvotes.

Amstutz, based in Georgia, captioned the snap: "My wife just throws her kitchen scraps in the sink instead of the trashcan because 'the disposal can handle it.' The sink disposal is not a trashcan, right??"

A garbage disposal is "a device in a kitchen sink that grinds up food waste so it can be washed down the drain," according to Britannica, and are common in American homes.

Photo of Nathan Amstutz's sink.
Photo of Nathan Amstutz's sink. The man, from Georgia, received numerous responses after sharing a photo of their sink to Reddit. Nathan Amstutz

The question elicited a broad spectrum of answers, as people claimed composting was better, others said the amount of food in the picture would clog the garbage disposal and some slammed the practice outright.

Snoopunit pointed out: "This is literally what disposals are for. You're just not supposed to shove everything down all at once. That's how it gets clogged."

irregularDARLING simply said: "Disgusting."

Johnnyonthespot2111 raved: "Wrong. That is exactly what it is used for. You should marry that woman!"

TheTastySpoonicorn joked: "My partner repairs these for a living and people like your wife are the main reason his job is so stable."

CheetahSubstantial95 claimed: "Worst thing you can do."

The sink disposal is not a trashcan, right??"
Nathan Amstutz

Rangedps revealed: "As a British person that does not have a garbage disposal and has never even seen one in anyone's home ever, this disturbs me greatly."

Starlinguk asked: "Why not use a sink strainer? It's much cheaper."

Gravityandlove wrote: "Yeah no it's for minor scraps not an entire plate."

SquareNuts112 commented: "No noodles, grains or potato peels. I pretty much grind up anything else. Lol."

Shaggywaffle thought: "You have a crappy disposal if it can't handle this."

MacMakeveli723 added: "Those scraps are perfect for composting!!"

And LiosIsHere said: "Those things aren't even allowed in the Netherlands, because solids and fat shouldn't be washed through a sink. It's hell to clean the water at the sewage plant and it will clog your pipes."

Amstutz told Newsweek: "A small minority passionately defended my wife's right to shove it all down the garbage disposal, which we do have. But most (including plumbers) said doing so was not good for the pipes."

A decent garbage disposal lasts between 10 and 12 years, website Trinity Plumbing LLC claims, although it stresses some types of foods shouldn't be put into them, including banana peel, potato peel, large bones, grease, fruit pits and corn husks.

Some other foods to keep away from the garbage disposal are pasta and rice. The website says: "You would think that since pasta and rice are so soft, what could possibly be the harm. The problem is that even when they are shredded into smaller pieces pasta and rice will expand. They also become a sticky substance and that can clog your drain."

Egg shells divide opinion: "This is another one of those items that people disagree on.

"While some people think that it helps to sharpen the teeth of the grinder others believe they cause more harm than good. We like to err on the safe side and say that you should just toss them or use them in your compost pile."

Update 4/22/22, 8:34 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Amstutz.