Do You Have to Empty a Garbage Disposal?

Do You Have to Empty a Garbage Disposal?
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Do you have to empty a garbage disposal? Or does all of the food go down your pipes? In this article, we’ll go over if you should empty your garbage disposal or not, and how to get chunks of food out of your disposal if they’re stuck down your sink.

Yes, you do need to empty a garbage disposal. While a garbage disposal may seem like an endless pit that can handle any amount of food waste, they do have a limited capacity. If you don’t empty the garbage disposal regularly, it can start to clog and cause other problems. Homes with Sepura installed don’t need to do this because their food waste goes down their sink and into a removable under-sink compost bin. 

Sepura replaces the need for a garbage disposal and is particularly helpful when it comes to emptying. It’s easy to empty because the food that goes down your sink ends up in the attached under-sink compost bin - so all you need to do is empty the bin.


Emptying a garbage disposal requires a couple of extra steps and safety precautions that we’ll walk through. We’ll also clarify whether garbage disposals fill up or not.

Does a garbage disposal ever get full?

While sink disposals don't have a set capacity, they do have a limit on how much they can handle. Once the garbage disposal reaches its limit, it will start to become less effective at grinding food waste.

Sepura is a sink composter that replaces garbage disposals, and needs its under-sink compost bin emptied every 2-4 weeks once enough food scraps go down your drain. Although the compost bin needs to be emptied, that food would normally have gone down the drain pipes and caused clogs!

Garbage disposals can be less effective over time if the blades wear and dull faster than normal. Avoid putting fibrous or hard-to-grind items like banana peels, corn husks, or bones down the drain. These items can damage your garbage disposal and cause clogs.

Over time, food scraps can build up inside your garbage disposal and cause clogs. When this happens, you may notice that the disposal is draining slowly, or not at all.

garbage disposal that needs emptying

To prevent this from happening, it's essential to clean your garbage disposal regularly.

Homes that have Sepura can place any type of food scraps down their sink without worrying about damage or clogs. This is because our in-sink composter uses an auger instead of a blade, so you won’t have to deal with frequent clogs due to dulled blades over time.

How to empty garbage disposals

Emptying out your garbage disposal is a straightforward process. 

  1. First, turn off the disposal by unplugging it or turning off the circuit breaker. 
  2. Then, use tongs or pliers to remove any large pieces of food scraps that may be stuck in the disposal. (Use a flashlight to inspect the disposal and ensure that there are no small scraps left behind)
  3. Next, fill your sink with a few inches of water and add a small amount of dish soap. Turn on the disposal and let the water run for a few minutes to flush out any remaining scraps. 
  4. Finally, turn off the disposal and let the water drain from the sink.

It's important to note that you should never put your hand or fingers inside the garbage disposal, even when it's turned off. This can lead to serious injury or even amputation. Always use tongs or pliers to remove scraps.

How to empty composting disposals

composting garbage disposal

Emptying Sepura requires less effort and less time. Food scraps that go down your drain will end up in Sepura’s compost bin, making the emptying process a lot easier.

Here’s how you empty Sepura:

  1. Open Sepura’s drawer that’s installed in the unit under your sink
  2. Remove the compost bin inside Sepura by using the attached handle. Then you can empty your food scraps into your curbside or backyard compost.
emptying sepura's compost bin
Learn more about Sepura

If you’re interested in saving time and effort with Sepura, install one in your home to keep your pipes clear and your hands safe!


While garbage disposals are a convenient way to dispose of food waste, they do need to be emptied regularly to avoid clogs and unpleasant odors. 

By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can safely and easily empty your garbage disposal. Remember to never put your hand inside the sink disposal and to avoid overloading it with large amounts of food scraps.

If you're looking for an easier and more sustainable solution to food waste disposal, consider installing Sepura.

This garbage disposal replacement catches all food scraps in the compost bin and sends only liquids down your drain. With Sepura, you'll never have to worry about clogs or unpleasant odors again.