Can I Use My Garbage Disposal With a Septic System?

No, you shouldn’t. Whether you have a household septic system or your plumbing heads out to a municipal sewage system, your garbage disposal is not there to be used as a waste receptacle. Express Septic Services recommends you put drain screens in all of your drains to avoid waste going into your septic system, but even if you don’t use drain screens, make certain you don’t place the following into the garbage disposal or you’ll wreak havoc on your septic system.

Animal Bones

Toss your chicken or turkey bones in the trash. The garbage disposal will not crush the bones as you think it will. Rather, the bones will clog your plumbing and could ruin your disposal’s blades.


If you get irritated when celery stalk strings get stuck in your teeth, imagine the damage they’ll do when they wrap up in your garbage disposal blades. They can also clog your septic system.

Coffee Grounds

Don’t wash your coffee grounds down the drain, either. They build up in your piping and septic system and clog it. If they do drop down into your tank, they’ll fill your septic tank more quickly.


Eggshells sharpening your garbage disposal blades is an old wives’ tale. Eggshells have membrane linings that get tangled in the disposal blades. The shells can clog your septic system, too.

Fruit Pits

Fruit pits and seeds will kill your garbage disposal and clog your septic system quicker than most of the other things on this list. The good bacteria in your septic system cannot break down pits and seeds.

Grease and Oil

Oil can clog your drains but it can also clog your septic system. Once solid waste settles in the tank, liquid moves into your drain field. Grease can clog that pathway and back up your septic system.


Do you know how pasta expands when you cook it? It also expands in your septic system. Cooking it does not stop its expansion, and cooking doesn’t stop rice from expanding, either. Toss them in the trash.

Vegetable Peels

Finally, you might hear more often that you shouldn’t put potato peels into your garbage disposal but you shouldn’t put any fruit or vegetable peels down there. They can clog your drains and septic system.

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