(Thomas) The Effects of Food Waste Disposers on the Wastewater System: A Practical Study

Citation: Thomas, Philip. “The Effects of Food Waste Disposers on the Wastewater System: A Practical Study.” Water and Environment Journal 25.2 (2011): 250-56. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.


History of the search: I found this source the day that we spent in the library researching. After looking up “food” and “waste” in the VCU library’s data base, I was overwhelmed by how much information came up. I then typed in “food waste” as a single phrase put in quotes and more accurate sources came up. This was one of them.


Identification: This is a scholarly journal, written by Philip Thomas. I can tell this this article is scholarly because it has an abstract, keywords and was published in a reputable journal.


Summary: “The Effects of Food Waste Disposers on the Wastewater System: A Practical Study,” written by Philip Thomas, is a scholarly article for environmental scholars and people who want to expand there knowledge of food waste. The main claim, that domestic food waste disposers have negative effects on the environment, is supported by two main studies.


This article is all about food waste disposers (FWDs), which is just a fancy word for garbage disposer. According to Thomas FWD’s play a crucial role in waste disposal. Opinions on FWDs around the world is divided. They are banned at a national level in countries including Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium, and regulated locally by municipalities in many more. Approximately 5% of households in the United Kingdom contain FWDs while over 50% of American households have them. This is a very interesting concept to me and one I would like to further researching, even if it isn’t about food waste. It makes me want to ask “what other everyday objects are harmful?”


Thomas then holds two studies and uses the data to support his main claim. His experiments are hard to understand at times; this is the kind of article that requires rereading. Overall, the passion that Thomas writes with is evidence enough to know that he has done his research and he wants to make a change.



Response: This article is not my favorite. It is very long and boring and hard to understand. It took me ten minutes to realize that what the article is about, FWDs, was a garbage disposal. It was a challenge to get through the entire article.

There are however helpful graphs and charts to make reading this piece a little easier. The article itself is about something very interesting and not very researched. I will use the information about FWDs and the water system in my “environmental” paragraph. It is interesting that something so normal to American life is illegal in other countries, but when one takes a closer look, the facts all add up to make FWDs sound horrible. Also, this article uses UK- based statistics because that is where it was published. Even though that I’m not using an American source I can still use the global data and also does a good job of specifically comparing the UK to America, which I can use in many of my paragraphs.

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