No Bones About it

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As promised last month, this post features a video of a homeowner grinding a turkey carcass in a residential disposer.  It’s not a trick or gimmick and may make you wonder why somebody would bother … It looks like work.


Why take the time when you can just put it in the garbage can? The main reason to consider disposing of a turkey in your disposer is to eliminate odors in the trash.  Elimination of food waste in the trash has the added benefit of reducing the potential attraction to vermin.

Grinding bone is recycling at its best. Sure, bones are inert material with no value in an anaerobic digester (no gas potential) but there is meat and marrow attached, which will end up going to the wastewater treatment plant to make energy and fertilizer.

While turkey contains fat, grinding it may actually help reduce FOG buildup in sewers and plumbing. I do not encourage people to pour liquid grease down the drain but turkey fat will likely stay attached to the ground food particles. Not to mention, fats themselves do not cause calcium soaps, as previously discussed. Fats must first be hydrolyzed into free fatty acids (see Clear the FOG) before they cause the hard deposits in sewers. A study at Tongji University demonstrated that disposers can reduce fat deposits. This is probably because of the scouring action from the fine particles, or because FOG attaches to the particles instead of the pipes.

Newer disposers grind bones with no sweat and a lot less noise than they used to, so feel free to try it yourself. Remember there are no blades in a disposer and although the video shows a person pushing down over the sink opening, it’s because the turkey leg sticks out and needs coaxing to initiate the grinding action – not because the person is on defense.


3 Replies to “No Bones About it

  • Todd Reber on said:

    It is even easier if you put the carcass neck and giblets with some celery ends, onion trimmings, carrot peels and maybe some past due tomatoes in a stock pot full of water and let them cook down for 24-48 hours.
    Strain out the turkey broth. All the moist bones will be separated to fit down the disposer

  • T.H. Culhane on said:

    Great post, as ever! I’ve been grinding up all my leftovers, including carcasses, forever, and using the benefits of meat and fat particles to enhance gas production in my home biogas digester (which I also use to create liquid fertilizer that is nitrogen rich for my vertical aerponics tower garden to grow vegetables). The bones add surface area for my microbes to flourish I believe.

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