5 Smallest Garbage Disposals For Food Waste

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Garbage disposals are a great addition to any kitchen.  They make it easy to get rid of leftover food immediately instead of having to throw it into the garbage where it might sit and start to smell before the can is full. But, what if you live in a small apartment or even a studio and the area under your sink is barely big enough to store a sponge?

If you find you are short on space for some of the more standard sizes of garbage disposal, fear not!  There is still a disposal out there that can suit your needs no matter how small your kitchen is. To help you make a decision, here are 5 smallest garbage disposals for your consideration.

How do Compact Garbage Disposals Work

Garbage disposals work by using centrifugal force to obliterate food particles and send them on their way. Having a garbage disposal not only reduces waste that goes into landfills, but it also decreases the number of greenhouse gasses that are released into the air from rotting food.

All garbage disposals require a lot of running water to flush out the food particles properly, but as long as you have a decent water connection, you can install a garbage disposal nearly anywhere, including small studio apartments and even RVs.

For a more in-depth look at how garbage disposals work, check out this video from InSinkErator.


Benefits of Compact Garbage Disposals

  1. 1
    Eliminates the need to put food scraps in the garbage bin (reduces bad odors)
  2. 2
    Helps the environment! Less food in the trash means less food in landfills and fewer greenhouse gasses emitted from rotting food.
  3. 3
    Help keep a clean and healthy sink – no more worries about a clogged drain because someone dumped their soggy cereal in your sink.
  4. 4
    Ease and convenience. Garbage disposals are a reliable way to get rid of unwanted food while keeping your sink free of debris.

Buying Guide: Smallest Garbage Disposals

Space Requirements

When purchasing a garbage disposal, you will need to measure the physical space that you have available under your kitchen sink.

Also, you will need to figure out what HP (horsepower) motor to purchase. Smaller areas, such as studio apartments or RVs, are usually used much less frequently and will not require as much HP as larger homes with more people.

Horse Power

Horsepower (HP) is a unit of measurement based on the 1800s power of draft horses. When it comes to garbage disposals, units start at about 1/3 HP and go up to 2 HP.

Small apartments or homes of 1-2 people require a 1/3 or 1/2 HP unit. Larger homes or 3-6 people should use a 1/2 to 3/4 HP unit, and homes with more than six people or a heavily trafficked kitchen area should use a 1 HP or higher unit.

Flow Rate and RPM

The flow rate of your garbage disposal will mostly depend on the GPM (gallons per minute) that your sink outputs, and whether your garbage disposal is clean.

This is one of the reasons you should never run your garbage disposal without the water turned on. When it comes to RPM, this refers to the revolutions per minute that the motor rotates at.

Material

When purchasing a garbage disposal, you’ll want to make sure that it is built with quality materials that are meant to last. I recommend finding a garbage disposal with a stainless-steel chamber, as they are less prone to rusting.

Feed Type

There are two types of garbage disposals: continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed garbage disposals are much more common in homes, and these are the garbage disposals that are turned on using a switch. Continuous feed means that the garbage disposal will continue to run until you turn it off.

With batch feed garbage disposals, the unit is virtually always "on" but will only be activated when the drain cap is put in place.

Installation

Installation for kitchen garbage disposals is usually considerate a moderate task that shouldn’t take a DIYer more than a couple of hours. There are plenty of videos online to help you get started, and most garbage disposal manufacturers offer technical support to walk you through the process should you need assistance.

Price & Warranty

When making a home purchase (especially one that is meant to last at least a decade), price, of course, is a consideration. Depending on your budget and needs, you can rest assured that there is a garbage disposal to fit your lifestyle. Warranty is another consideration.

Some companies, like InSinkErator, offer a 5-year guarantee that includes everything including labor (on select models).


Comparison Table - Smallest Garbage Disposals

Image

Product

Name

Dimensions (Inches)

Weight
(Pounds)

Horse

Power (HP)

Price

InSinkErator Evolution Compact Garbage Disposal, 3/4 HP Continuous Feed

InSinkErator Evolution Compact

8.0 x 8.0 x 12.125

18.30

3/4

Waste King L-1001 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 1/2 HP

Waste King Legend Series

L-1001

5.25 x 5.25 x 12.75

9.05

1/2

InSinkErator Badger 100 1/3 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator Badger 100

6.3 x 6.3 x 11.4

12.4

1/3

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 5, 1/2 HP Continuous Feed

InSinkErator Badger 5

7 x 7 x 13

13.6

1/2

Kitchen Aid (84211643) KCDB250G 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal

Kitchen Aid KCDB250G

7.5 x 7.4 x 14.6

14.15

1/2

5 Smallest Garbage Disposals Reviewed

1. InSinkErator Evolution

Product Specification

Horsepower (HP)

¾ HP

Speed (RPM)

1725

Dimensions

(Inches - HxWxD)

12.25" x 8.75" 

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

3-bolt Quick Lock sink mount

Grind Chamber (oz)

34.6 oz

I always recommend the InSinkErator brand. Their famous motto, “We know garbage disposals because we invented them” has stood the test of time and the company continues to make high-quality kitchen garbage disposals after 80 years.

The InSinkErator Evolution is the best small garbage disposal on the market today. At just over a foot in height and capacity of 34.6oz, the InSinkErator Evolution 3/4 HP Continuous Feed was designed for homes with lighter kitchen traffic, but it still has the 3/4 HP power to break down harder foods, peels, and even small bones.

On the InSinkErator website, nearly 3,000 reviews praise the garbage disposal for its heavy-duty work. User KDog31 says, "My first InSinkErator was years ago. And every home I moved to seemed to have them. When I needed to replace my sink on my newest purchase, I knew what it had to be. This Continuous feed compact model has been the best by far. Very easy to install!

Runs perfectly and super, super quiet. It’s worth the extra $$ for better sound control. And it doesn’t take much room under the sink.”

Pros

  • Designed for small kitchens that don’t have a lot of under-the-sink space to spare
  • 3/4 HP motor is tough on your hardest disposal jobs
  • InSinkErator Evolution is covered by the InSinkErator 4-Year We Come to You® In-Home Full-Service Limited Warranty Covers parts and labor
  • SoundSeal Technology makes the unit extremely quiet
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • List Element

2. Waste King Legend Series L-1001 

Product Specification

Horsepower (HP)

1/2 HP

Speed (RPM)

2600

Dimensions

(Inches - HxWxD)

5.2" x 5.2" x 12.8"

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

EZ Mount twist-and-lock

Grind Chamber (oz)

27.3 oz

The Waste King Legend Series L-1001 is a top-of-the-line garbage disposal that we think is the best small garbage disposal for deep sinks. With dimensions of only 5.2" X 5.2" X 12.8", the Series L-1001 will fit snugly under your kitchen sink, while still offering all the power you would expect from a garbage disposal with 1/2 HP.

DIYers and money conscious shoppers can agree that The Waste King Legend Series L-1001 is a top choice for garbage disposal because it is not only extremely budget friendly (usually well under $100), but it comes with an EZ Mount System that makes installation a breeze – meaning you’ll save yourself from having to hire a plumber as well.

The EZ Mount System uses a twist-and-lock design that allows you to install your new garbage disposal in no time. Amazon reviewer Lisa writes, "I am by no means an expert DIY plumber or even a decent one. I once broke a brand-new porcelain toilet while trying to install it because I am so inept.

Seriously, I'm horrible at installing anything. However, this disposal installation was AMAZINGLY easy to perform. Follow the instructions, and it's hard to mess this up. Took me about 30 minutes. (The hardest part was removing the old disposal).”

Pros

  • Affordable garbage disposal for the budget conscious
  • Easy installation + comes with all the hardware you need
  • Comes with removable splash guards
  • Comes with a 2-year Warranty

Cons

  • Some users have reported a rust build-up within the chamber after several years of use

3. InSinkErator Badger 100 

Product Specification

Horsepower (HP)

1/3 HP

Speed (RPM)

1725

Dimensions

(Inches - HxWxD)

6.31" x 6.31" x 6.31"

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

Quick Lock sink mount

Grind Chamber (oz)

26

The InSinkErator Badger 100 is the smallest of the Badger Series but is still tremendously powerful for a garbage disposal with 1/3 HP. For that reason alone, we find that it is the best garbage disposal for small spaces. With a height of just over 11", this short garbage disposal can squeeze under sinks where other garbage disposals can’t.

Don’t let the power of the InSinkErator Badger 100 fool you though. Though it is powerful, it’s still meant for small spaces (or homes of 1-2 people) with less frequent use. Unlike the InSinkErator Evolution series, the grind blades on the Badger 100 are not made of stainless steel and will break down prematurely if they are overused.

Overall, users are delighted with using the Badger 100 in small spaces. On the Home Depot website, user Willwgp says “Extremely easy to install, and works great! The price was spot on, and it grinds pretty much anything. The instructions were relatively easy to follow and understand. And it is pretty quiet!”

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • An affordable option for a powerful garbage disposal
  • Comes with a 1-Year Full Service Limited Warranty

Cons

  • Overuse of this item will shorten its lifespan
  • Some users have mentioned that the noise level this garbage disposal makes has increased over time

4. InSinkErator Badger 5 

Product Specification

Horsepower (HP)

1/2 HP

Speed (RPM)

1725

Dimensions

(Inches - HxWxD)

12.625" x 6.3125"

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

3-bolt Quick Lock sink mount

Grind Chamber (oz)

26 oz.

The InSinkErator Badger 5 is one step above the Badger 100 and has a 1/2 HP motor, which is stronger and can stand up to everyday use in a small home or apartment. (See how the two compare in the InSinkErator Chart below.)

InSinkErator describes their Badger Series as "reliable, functional, and affordable," and we couldn't agree more. For under $100 you can have a quality garbage disposal that will last you for years to come. InSinkErator continues to provide the best compact garbage disposals over time.

One of the reasons you’ll find so many InSinkErator products on our review pages is because they offer a step-above most other warranties with their full service. We Come to You® guarantee that covers both parts and labor.

We found that many of the people purchasing the InSinkErator Badger 5 were replacing the same unit that was well past its lifespan. Amazon user M. Larsen says “This was a replacement for my previous InSinkErator 5, which lasted about 15 years. Install took about 10 or 15 minutes, and everything lined up exactly like the previous one.”

Pros

  • Long-lasting, high-quality garbage disposal
  • Comes with a 2-year full-service warranty
  • 93% of Home Depot customers recommend the InSinkErator Badger 5
  • Great for everyday use

Cons

  • Made from galvanized steel, not stainless steel

5. Kitchen Aid KCDB250G 

Product Specification

Horsepower (HP)

1/2 HP

Speed (RPM)

1725

Dimensions

(Inches - HxWxD)

11 3/8" x 6 5/8"

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

Quick mounting system

Grind Chamber (oz)

-

When most people think about the Kitchen Aid brand, they immediately think about the stand mixers and other small appliances like toaster ovens. And while the company does have a notorious history of creating these products, they are also a top contender in the garbage disposal world.

The Kitchen Aid (84211643) KCDB250G is a 1/2 HP compact garbage disposal that will fit securely under your kitchen sink without taking up much room.

This Kitchen Aid model is built for everyday use, and it will stand up to the test of time. Users replacing their Kitchen Aid garbage disposals found the transition to be straightforward and take less than an hour. But by far the most significant feature of this garbage disposal is how tranquil it is.

Review after review praises the whisper-quiet function. On the Kitchen Aid website, reviewer Burke 48186 says "Had a new house built, we had what they call a builder grade disposer, not only did it only last a few years it was loud, this new KitchenAid disposer not only displays better quality it’s very quiet, this will make a great addition to my kitchen, and aid me in my daily chores, thank you KitchenAid!!”

Pros

  • Extremely quiet when running

  • Stands up to the Kitchen Aid brand name

  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Only comes with a 1-year limited warranty

  • Slightly more expensive than other garbage disposals on our list


How to Install Small Waste Disposals

Installing a compact waste disposal is a job that you can likely do yourself if you have a basic understanding of plumbing and electricity. There are many how-to tutorial videos on the Internet (we suggest this one from Lowe’s) and a little patience can go a long way.

For a DIY project, installing a garbage disposal shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. A seasoned plumber might be able to finish the job in 20-30 minutes. If you’re considering hiring a plumber to install your new waste disposal, keep in mind that most plumbers work at an hourly rate.

And if you don’t already have a GFCI outlet under your sink, you’ll need to contact an electrician. This safety outlet is now required in the US.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a typical compact garbage disposal last?

Most plumbers agree that the average lifespan for a compact garbage disposal is 12-15 years.

How can I make sure that my garbage disposal unit will last longer?

Properly maintaining your garbage disposal can help increase the lifespan. One great tip that we’ve learned over the years is that ice cubes are a garbage disposal’s best friend.

About once a month or so, while running cold water, dump a large amount of ice into your garbage disposal. The ice will help clean the disposal, sharpen the blades, and break down any grease that may be trapped as well.

Should I get a plumber to replace a garbage disposal?

While replacing a garbage disposal is a job that can be done yourself, many people choose to have a professional plumber install their new garbage disposals not only to save time but also to assure that all of their current plumbing and electricity it up to code and running both safely and smoothly.

How do I know the correct size of garbage disposal unit to buy?

In addition to physically measuring the space under your sink to accommodate a garbage disposal, you will also be faced with deciding what level of "HP motor" to buy. The HP stands for horsepower, and when it comes to the standard American home, most garbage disposals are listed as 3/4 HP.

As a rule of thumb, small apartments or homes of 1-2 people require a 1/3 or 1/2 HP unit. Larger homes or 3-6 people should use a 1/2 to 3/4 HP unit, and homes with more than six people or a heavily trafficked kitchen area should use a 1 HP or higher unit.

Where is the best place to buy compact garbage disposal units?

Amazon is a great place to purchase compact garbage disposal units, as they carry all of the brand names we trust at great prices.


Conclusion

And, there you have it!  Five fantastic options for compact garbage disposals that will make any sized kitchen easy to work in and clean up in.

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