There are about 3.2 billion bananas eaten by Americans per year. Can you imagine the number of banana peels this produces? It takes banana peels at least two years to decay, so you can imagine how hard it is to get rid of them. Some people just toss them in the trash and forget about them, while others might run them in their garbage disposals. Wait a minute…can you even put banana peels down a garbage disposal?
Some manufacturers of garbage disposal units might argue that their units are so heavy-duty that they might handle banana peels. Yet, the norm is that banana peels shouldn’t be thrown into garbage disposals. The blades won’t chop them small enough, and they’ll eventually clog up the whole system.
We mistakenly use the garbage disposal as a place to throw in garbage, not food debris, which is a common misconception. Garbage should be thrown in the trash can, while only manageable food debris that can be liquified should be put down the garbage disposal. As you might’ve already expected, banana peels belong to the first category; the garbage that needs to be thrown into the trash can, not down the disposal.
Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t put banana peels down your garbage disposal and what alternative ways you can use to get rid of them.
Can You Put Banana Peels Down the Garbage Disposal
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You sure can, but you shouldn’t.
Banana peels aren’t liquifiable, and the rule of thumb is that you only throw biodegradable materials that can be liquified down the garbage disposal. Obviously, banana peels don’t fall under this category.
Banana peels have fibers that make them behave the same way as fibrous fruits and starch-rich foods in the garbage disposal system. They swell up with water, and they’re not affected by the blades of the disposal unit. If anything, they might dull the blades and clog the pipes, eventually affecting the whole garbage disposal system’s performance.
Some models might claim to have super sharp, heavy-duty grinders that can deal with banana peels well. While this might be true, it doesn’t work well in the long run. Think about how frequently you and your family eat bananas. How much do you eat? Can you imagine shoving all that down your garbage disposal? More importantly, can you imagine a disposal blade grinding through all these banana peels? I’d say this is not possible.
If you’re gonna put banana peels down the garbage disposal anyways, make sure to remove the plastic stickers. There’s no way these will make their way through. They’ll only stick to the blades and hinder the process even more.
What Should I Do with Banana Peels Instead
There are a few options you can follow here. The most efficient among them is to use the banana peels to make compost. The peels represent a source of organic nutrients that enhance the efficiency of the compost. They’re a source of nitrogen in the compost, so they’ll mix well with carbon-rich materials. Banana peels provide the compost with calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, boosting its overall efficacy.
You can be smart about using your banana peels to benefit other creatures. You can grind them and put them out for animals to feed on. You can also cut it down into smaller pieces and place it in your garden to keep aphids out. They’re not big fans of bananas.
For cooking enthusiasts, there’s a pro tip for using banana peels in a pan when you’re cooking, where it prevents the meat from drying out.
Finally, if you’re not interested in any of that, you can simply throw these banana peels in the trash can. Anything but letting them go down your garbage disposal would be alright!
How to Make Banana Peels Compost
To make the perfect compost, you need to produce a good ratio of green to brown waste. Brown waste is rich in carbon, while green waste is the source of moisture. Some people go for a 50:50 ratio, but I tend to prefer a 60:40 green to brown ratio, just to ensure there’s an abundance of moisture.
Get your banana peels and start cutting them down into smaller parts that are easier to decompose in the compost. You should maintain a regular airflow throughout the decomposition process, so I’d advise rotating your compost every now and then to aerate the mix.
Some people like to add worms to speed up the process. You can do that, but make sure to keep your compost in a cool place as it’ll get hot because of the worms.
How Can I Benefit from Banana Peels
Apart from using them in plant composts, feeding animals, or driving aphids away from your plants, there are a few ways to use banana peels to your benefit.
Some beauty gurus advocate for rubbing banana peels on your face, which will benefit you in numerous ways. It gives the skin a brightening effect, it helps depuff the eyes, and it has an overall moisturizing effect. This is because banana peels are rich in phenolics, which are compounds with antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can benefit the skin immensely.
Another common use of banana peels is to rub them against your teeth for a whitening effect. Again, you’re making use of their antibacterial properties here.
You can also try rubbing the banana peels against your shoes to give them a nice polish. Not necessarily a practical use, but we’d say it’s an excellent backup option when you’re out of shoe polish.
Banana peels shouldn’t be put down at the garbage disposal since they take about two years to decompose, and they surely won’t liquify. Putting banana peels down your garbage disposal would only harm the disposal unit, which you don’t want.