Can Aluminum Foil Go In The Garbage Disposal?

Aluminum foil is a kitchen staple for most households, with over 300 million people using the product, according to Statista. Many often use it for cooking. However, it has a variety of other applications. While many of us toss it into the garbage once we're finished with it, it turns out this isn't the correct thing to do. Instead, you should recycle it. Although it may seem like it doesn't matter, it does — especially if it's being thrown away on a mass scale. So, no, aluminum foil cannot go in your garbage disposal.

For those wondering why, there is a very good reason you shouldn't dispose of your aluminum foil in such a manner. While it's easy to do, you may change your mind after discovering it. Below, we'll look deeper into why you should think twice about how you dispose of this essential kitchen essential.

Don't throw away your aluminum foil

Your trash can and aluminum do not mix. If you have a recycling bin at home, place your aluminum foil in it. Alternatively, you can always find your nearest recycling center and take it there. However, you should note that you can't recycle any aluminum foil spoiled by food waste, even if it's just a small amount. Naturally, you should always take the extra time to ensure you dispose of it correctly if you can. Of course, it's not the end of the world if you do so by accident, but you should be mindful. If you have any left over that you were otherwise going to throw away, you can use the aluminum foil to line your draws. This is a great option if you don't have enough to use for cooking, for example.

In addition, there are plenty of other ways to make your home more eco-friendly. For example, you can recycle cardboard and plastic bottles instead of throwing them in your garbage disposal — this rule doesn't only apply to aluminum. If something can't be recycled, then you can always try upcycling. This prevents it from going in the garbage to landfill. 

Recycling aluminum benefits wildlife

So, why is putting aluminum in your garbage disposal such a big no-no? As it turns out, this material can be toxic if you toss it into the trash. From here, it will be sent to landfill, where it can contaminate the environment and threaten human health and wildlife. For example, it can negatively impact a wide variety of marine animals and even birds. Likewise, recycled foil is also seen as more eco-friendly, as it uses less energy. These are all reasons why you should never put aluminum foil in the garbage disposal.

These reasons are accentuated even more by the fact that aluminum can last up to 200 years after being tossed away, according to the Northeast Illinois Council. This means if thrown in your garbage disposal, your leftover aluminum will pose these threats for an incredibly long time. Of course, you should also check to see what other unexpected kitchen items you can recycle before throwing them away. As a result, you may throw much less into your garbage disposal in favor of your recycling bin.