Can I have a Garbage Disposal in Bedford?
Solid waste and recycling consultant Peter Kuniholm, a Bedford 2020 board member, says in-sink garbage disposals can’t or shouldn’t be used in the Bedford and Pound Ridge environs because all residential and commercial sewage systems are on septic. “Disposals grind up organics and flush them to the house sewer, which goes to an onsite septic tank,” Kuniholm says.
“That is the most common septic system throughout the Bedford and Pound Ridge area as there is no public sewer and no treatment plant.”
Using a garbage disposal when you have a septic tank, he says, is not a good idea. “It adds to the solids and organic load of the septic system, which typically is not designed to handle it.”
Kuniholm says fats, oil, and grease from disposals can clog septic lines. “Also many septic systems in Bedford are built on smallish lots with limited area for septic- and leach-field expansion.”
Anne Hanley of Katonah-based Design Construction Consulting says there are insinkerators with bio-boosts that might be acceptable on a properly sized septic system, but they are relatively new to the market.
“There is a Bedford Town ordinance prohibiting traditional garbage disposals,” Hanley says. “With all the undersized lots and added reservoirs and waterways, it’s too risky to allow it. Even laundry waste ideally should be in a dry well, so detergent doesn’t upset the delicate micro-organisms needed to keep the septic healthy.”