Why You Should Be Tossing Rotten Tomatoes Down Your Garbage Disposal And Not The Trash

Imagine you've just grabbed a handful of tomatoes from your garden for that recipe you've been eager to try. Upon looking at them, you notice the wrinkled and browning skin that proves your tomatoes have gone rotten. For many of us, the response is almost automatic: Throw the rotten tomatoes in the trash, collect a new batch, and resume the recipe at hand. However, what if you could repurpose these rotten tomatoes by tossing them down your garbage disposal? Believe it or not, rotten tomatoes can help break down solids that go down our sink and into a septic system.

Septic systems are constructed to collect waste and break it down from its once-solid consistency. These systems — also known as septic tanks — rely on anaerobic bacteria to decompose organic foods by essentially eating them. When the anaerobic bacteria consume our waste, aerobic bacteria collect the liquid before it can touch the soil in our yard. By tossing a handful of rotten tomatoes in the garbage disposal, you can help support the effective bacteria by providing organic enzymes that break down solid foods and help keep your garbage disposal running smoothly. Before diving into the process, however, there are a few key pieces of information you should know.

How to toss rotten tomatoes down your garbage disposal

Start by collecting three to four rotten tomatoes and placing them in a secure ziplock bag. Using your hands or a sturdy kitchen device, mash the tomatoes up to create a puree-like consistency. Turn on your sink's faucet before slowly pouring the puree down the garbage disposal, taking short breaks to allow the water to flush down the puree and ensure there's no clogging in the process. When you've finished pouring the fluid down, keep the faucet on for a few minutes to continue flushing the puree through.

Alternatively, you can throw solid tomatoes down the garbage disposal but in smaller doses. Cut your tomatoes into smaller halves or fourths to ensure they go down your garbage disposal smoothly. Just like you would with a tomato puree, keep the faucet on throughout the process and leave a few minutes in between each piece of tomato. When you've thrown all your old tomatoes down the chute, leave the faucet on for several minutes.

Where to toss rotten tomatoes if you don't have a garbage disposal

Not all of us are blessed with garbage disposals, but that doesn't mean we can't use rotten tomatoes to keep our septic tank clean. Our toilets are also connected to our septic system, ensuring that their anaerobic filters can be cleared out with organic solutions. Just as you would with your sink's garbage disposal, pour approximately half the tomato puree into the toilet bowl before flushing it down. After a few minutes, pour the remaining liquid into the toilet and flush once more. You can repeat this action every few months to flush out your septic system.

Unlike garbage disposals, solid tomato pieces shouldn't be tossed into the toilet because they can ultimately clog the system and create a blockage (while canceling out your efforts entirely). While garbage disposals are equipped to handle certain solids and stubborn foods, toilets are extremely sensitive. As long as you're cautious, patient, and consistent, however, rotten tomatoes should be an asset to your septic system.