There are many conflicting opinions concerning the proper use of a garbage disposer (garbage disposal). Mike’s advice is valuable (considering his forty years of experience solving plumbing problems). This is a free sample of the type of advice you will find in Mike’s book (OnlinePlumbingAdvice.com).
When possible put garbage in a compost pile or in a trash can. Even with the best garbage disposer, problems can develop when large amounts of garbage go down the drain.
When you need a new garbage disposer I recommend the Badger 5 pictured below. It usually sells for about $99.00 at Home Depot or Lowes (sometimes it is listed as a Badger 500 or other name).
When you have to put garbage in a garbage disposer, the way you do it is more important than the price of the disposer. I did a survey for three years, and I asked people how they run garbage through their disposer. The people in my survey were people that had called me because of a stopped-up sink. About ninety percent of these people scraped their plates, turned on the water, and then turned on the disposer. Many of these people experienced yearly or more frequent, stoppages. After I asked these people to start slowly feeding garbage while the water and the disposer are running, they rarely experience a stoppage. Also, they avoid a stinky disposer and avoid problems with a stopped-up line from the dishwasher.
The practice of putting garbage in the disposer (AKA batch feeding) before the disposer and water are on, is not what I call the proper use of the disposer. Some disposers can only be used by batch feeding, and if children or mentally challenged people are in the household, I think the trade off is worth it.