Local News

Disposals to Grind on in Raleigh

Posted April 15, 2008

— The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to trash its month-old ban on garbage disposals.

The council was almost as much in agreement last month when it adopted the ban, but public criticism of the move and lobbying from disposal manufacturers convinced council members they had acted too hastily in adopting one of the first such bans nationwide.

City officials had said the disposal ban was needed because food scraps and other debris clog municipal sewer lines, causing overflows that are costly to repair and that could potentially harm the environment.

They acknowledged last week, however, that their opinion was based on empirical evidence and not on scientific research. Meanwhile, a Purdue University food science professor told the council that grease and fats – not food scraps – congeal in sewer lines to cause overflows.

Under the ban, homeowners were allowed to continue to use existing disposals, but couldn't install a new device or replace a disposal that no longer worked.

Council members debated Tuesday about revising the city ordinance on how much grease can be dumped down the drain, but the issue died when they couldn't agree on how it would be worded.


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  • zeitghost Apr 17, 2008

    Good. This was one of the most ridiculous (and unenforceable) pieces of legislation I've ever heard of. I'm pretty sure I initially read that they wanted to pass the law to discourage people from putting grease down their drains. People who are inclined to do that don't stop because they don't have a garbage disposal.

  • bobbyj Apr 16, 2008

    Disposal for sale, date on device MArch 17-2008 never used, stored in garage. Need cash for water, will sacrifice.

  • catwoman1 Apr 16, 2008

    Hurray!!! Now I can get a new one!

  • 5Rs Apr 15, 2008

    It is NOT the responsibility of our elected leaders to lord it over the constituency. It IS their responsibility to ensure our infrastructure for the future, why isn't there a plan to acquire more water (another lake)?

    Another ridiculous lording: Why only use power washers on weekends?? Not like the decks aren't green with mildew since we couldn't clean them last fall. Council should be ENCOURAGING us all to power wash and seal our decks NOW when the lake is full.

  • james27613 Apr 15, 2008

    Who paid for the Purdue University expert to give testimony ?

  • koolady Apr 15, 2008

    There ought to be a ban on lobbyist. And researchers. What a waste!

  • dmccall Apr 15, 2008

    Smitty, the ban was based on recommendations for observations by field workers. Samples of fat accumulation were analyzed from 23 different cities and ALL found no food within the fat accumulations. More on this is at:

    Hats off to the councilors who were big enough to admit their mistake.

  • obs Apr 15, 2008

    The practical solution, grease traps in multiresident dwellings, will evade the city council for sure.

    Vote them out in 09.

  • mrtwinturbo Apr 15, 2008

    It never made much sense anyway!! what were they going to do...come follow you after you bought one to make sure that you did not install it in Raleigh?

  • PaulRevere Apr 15, 2008

    Even those kids bused to Garner schools (illegally, by the way...just ask Charlotte) can do better than these clowns.