All Brand New Homes in Philly are Now Guaranteed to Come With This One Thing

Philly's building code now requires all new construction homes to have an in-sink garbage disposal, which helps grind food waste into biogas.

in-sink disposal

Philly is saying bye, bye, bye to food scraps and hello to biogas, as in-sink garbage disposals are now required in new construction homes.

As the housing market in Philly continues to make its comeback, many house hunters are seeking the sleek new construction homes that are popping up in vacant lots across the city.

While some have been discussing about the benefits of a 10-year tax abatement or holding out for a roof deck with skyline views, the city dropped an interesting wrinkle into the building code that took effect on January 1: all new residential construction must have in-sink garbage disposals.

Hey, we didn’t say it was sexy, but it does come with its benefits.

Garbage disposals help grind food scraps and, and in turn, the city processes this waste into biogas, a renewable energy used for heat, fuel and electricity. As CityLab reports, the city uses this biogas to power wastewater treatment facilities, which officials say have excess capacity:

“More disposals directing pulverized food waste into the city’s processing plant means more biogas that the city can rely on. The requirement will also cut back significantly on how much the city spends on lugging solid food waste from homes to landfills—roughly $3 million a year, according to city recycling director Phil Bresee.”

The new addition to the building code isn’t the Philadelphia’s first foray into reducing food waste. The city opened its first biogas-to-energy facility in Bridesburg, dubbed the Northeast Pollution Control Plant (NCPC), in November of 2013. The methane created as a byproduct of the storm water management process helps produce 85% of all electrical energy currently used in the massive $47 million facility.

In what was a precursor to the NPCP, the city gave away 200 InSinkErator garbage disposal systems to residents of Point Breeze and West Oak Lane in 2012.