The first kitchen I ever had a part in the technical design of, was my own, it was the start of the love affair I have with well designed kitchens. I thought I was going to have fun with the window treatments, and the dining table, after all, interior design was my field. Boy was I wrong, it was the appliances that charmed my socks off! Looking back, I did things in that kitchen that I will never do again, without a sign off of course!
One appliance that had me on the fence was a garbage disposal. I hadn't grown up with one, but had managed to feed nearly an entire set of cutlery to one in an apartment I had in college. So even though the designer was recommending I install one, I was skeptical. True also is that I was looking at the sweet plump fingers on my baby's hands, and the thought of her reaching in at the wrong moment, well it made me squeeze my eyes shut real fast!
When I caught my breath the designer gave me a little lesson in batch feed vs. continuous. Most people have continuous feed disposers with the black plastic flaps that give way to the food as it slides through the opening. This type usually has a switch on the backsplash or countertop that you simply flip as you are feeding the unit, it can run this way at any time, and if you drop a knife or spoon it's going in! I know it's a longshot but as a young mom, I could just envision my for year old son chucking his Thomas the Tank Engine down to here the cool noise, and well the possibilities of his retrieval method was of most concern.
What my kitchen designer recommended was what they call a Batch Feed Disposal. It has a plug that covers the opening but allows water to pass through it, the plug must be in and turned for the power to run to the unit. therefore there is zero risk of little fingers intruding on the blades, and it only slows down the feed process slightly, and just enough that you have very little risk of losing cutlery or jewelry or any of the other fun stuff that slips by.
I took his advice, and bought the Kitchen Aid Batch Feed Disposal. I was so happy for the convenience and peace of mind it offered, and I recommend the very same unit to my clients today. Batch feeds are made by many manufacturers and they all work fairly the same way.
As with all disposers, the recommendation is that you use cold running water and do put bones down. It's generally thought that this does the best job of preventing grease from buuilding up and clogging the waste line. Check with your town before installing one, as not all municipalities allow them, and if you are on a septic system check into the special enzyme treatments to assist in the decomposition of the food matter.
- Aston Smith
- I have 20+ years experience in Home Furnishings and Interior Design, specializing in Kitchen and Bath Design since '01. I work for Bilotta Kitchens in the A&D Building on East 58th Street in the Mid-town Manhattan. I have a passion for learning and love the opportunity to collaberate on projects of all sizes. My strengths in the field begin with my design background, use of color and texture to bring interest to a room, spatial relationships, organizational skills, innovation, decisiveness, and planning. I have had the thrilling experience of helping hundreds...?maybe thousands of people with their projects, and what I love is it never gets boring, and no two are ever the same. Thanks for reading.