Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Are Garbage Disposals Allowed in New York City? Yes… But Here’s Why They’re Still Rare

If you manage a condominium or co-operative building in one of the five boroughs, you may have wondered: are garbage disposals allowed in New York City? If these handy devices are actually legal, why do so few properties have them? To answer your question, yes, garbage disposals are permitted in New York City. But here’s a look at why they are still rare and what you can do if the occupants of your building demand this now-legal appliance for waste removal.

The History of Garbage Disposals in New York City

Banned until 1997

The garbage disposal was invented nearly 100 years ago, although it didn’t become mainstream until around the middle of the 20th century. Suburban homeowners and residents of other cities enjoyed this easy way to eliminate kitchen waste, which meant no hauling messy bags of vegetable scraps and bones to the curb or trash chute.

However, in New York City, garbage disposals were legally banned. It became almost a point of pride for New Yorkers during the 1970s and ‘80s until the ban was reversed in 1997. Prior to the end of the ban, several hundred disposals were installed across the city for a trial period that lasted nearly two years.

Although garbage disposals have been legal for 25 years, few properties in New York City make use of them. The answer to why lies in why they were banned in the first place.

So, Why Don’t More People Have Garbage Disposals Now That They’re Legal?

Concerns about clogged pipes

Anyone who has lived in New York for a length of time knows how old and fragile the city’s infrastructure can be. While there have been improvements made to the municipal sewer system that could now accommodate garbage disposals, most buildings aren’t made for them, especially those constructed during the pre-war period.

Older New York City buildings tend to have narrower pipes that have been made even less voluminous over the years. The fear of residents dumping their garbage down the drain is a real one that stems from cases of blocked waste lines, burst pipes, and sewage backing up into people’s homes. No one wants to be responsible for having to repair someone else’s bathroom or, worse, replace plumbing in their dwelling due to unsuccessful attempts to use a garbage disposal. Therefore, many condo and co-op buildings have still banned garbage disposals, even though they’re legal in New York.

Some properties do use sewage grinder pumps, but these are not exactly the same as a garbage disposal, although they’re similar. These pumps have a basin that holds ground-up waste and propels it from the unit when the basin is full. They’re intended to be used where gravity isn’t available to help remove waste from low-lying units, such as those below street level. And they serve more than just kitchens, removing waste from bathrooms and laundry areas too.

How Can Your Building Make Garbage Disposal Use Safer and Easier?

Never use them on the sly

Some New York residents whose building mates won’t allow garbage disposals have installed them in secret. But in some instances, this has resulted in disaster, as the building wasn’t designed to handle garbage disposal use. If occupants are going to use garbage disposals, they need to be permitted for everyone. Then, follow the tips below to reduce your risk of problems.

Make sure the plumbing can handle the waste

Kitchen waste that is ground up in a garbage disposal must travel a long path to get to the sewer main. The higher up or further away a unit is from the city sewer system, the further the waste has to be transported. Therefore, it’s imperative that the building’s plumbing is up to the task, from the sink to where it exits the property lines.

First, make sure the under-sink P-traps are correctly installed between the sink drain and the garbage disposal. This prevents waste from backing up into the sink, and it makes it easy for property managers to deal with local clogs. A quick-release nut on the trap will facilitate faster opening of the trap.

Next, the piping leading to the sewer main needs to be wide enough and healthy enough to handle a larger volume of waste than just dirty water. Camera visualization performed by a plumber can help determine the status of your pipes. Older pipes may need to be replaced between units and the street.

Educate residents about garbage disposal use

Perhaps the most important task is instructing dwellers about what can and cannot go in a garbage disposal (this is helpful for toilets and sewage ejector pumps too). Examples of items that should never go down the drain, even with a garbage disposal, include:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grinds
  • Banana peels
  • Potato peels
  • Cooking oils and grease
  • Onion skins
  • Dry foods that expand when wet (rice, oatmeal, etc.)
  • Corn cobs
  • Fruit pits

Depending on the garbage disposal model in question, other items may be forbidden, like meat bones or other kinds of vegetable matter. The concern is that they will form a solid paste that clogs the waste channel, especially if grease enters the mix.

Residents must also be reminded to:

  • Always use plenty of water when flushing waste through a disposal.
  • Let the water run for a moment after using the disposal.
  • Feed the garbage disposal slowly, letting some waste grind before adding more.

Enroll in Sanitary Plumbing’s drain-cleaning service

Even without the installation of garbage disposals or their improper use, clogs can frequently occur in old waste piping. That’s why Sanitary Plumbing offers labor service agreements for drain cleaning. You can sign up for regular drain maintenance to help prevent clogs that could cause major disruption in your building.

To learn more about our routine drain cleaning service or to inquire about the practicality of installing garbage disposals in your property, call Sanitary Plumbing today at 212-734-5000.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of Antler.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with Antler.nyc). We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
  • Transactional information (such as lease terms, lease parties);
  • Computer sign-on data, statistics on page views, and traffic to and from the Website; and
  • Other information, including IP address and other web log information.

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since Antler.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.