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Types Of Garbage Disposals: Continuous Feed vs Batch Feed

There are generally two types of garbage disposals: continuous feed and batch feed.

  1. Continuous Feed: This type of garbage disposal is the most common and convenient. It operates with a switch or button, allowing the user to continually feed food waste into the unit as it grinds up the waste. Continuous feed disposals are ideal for those who generate a lot of food waste and need a fast and efficient way to dispose of it.
  2. Batch Feed: This type of garbage disposal is designed to work in batches. It requires the user to load a specific amount of food waste into the disposal chamber and then activate the unit using a separate stopper or cover. The disposal will only run when the stopper or cover is securely in place, making it a safer option. Batch feed disposals are ideal for those who generate less food waste and want a more controlled and safer disposal process.
InSinkErator Evolution Select Plus
A continuous feed disposal
A batch feed disposal

This specific difference leads to more differences between these two types of garbage disposals. Let’s see what they are;

batch feed vs continuous feed garbage disposals :Differences

Here is a list of all the differences between batch feed and continuous feed type disposals;

Continuous feed typeBatch feed type
Food is processed continuouslyFood is processed in batches
Food waste can be added while the disposer is runningThe disposer can be run only after the food wastes are added
Activated by multiple switch optionsIt can be activated only via a magnetic cover
Louder compared to a comparable batch feed disposerQuieter compared to a comparable continuous feed type disposal
Less safeThe safer option
Popular choiceLess popular choice
Many models to choose fromFewer models to choose from
Plenty of budget disposer models are availableCostly when compared to similar batch feed disposal
Less time consumingMore time-consuming operation
More convenient to useLess convenient to use
More compact in sizeGenerally bulky in size
Differences between Batch feed and Continuous feed type garbage disposals

Continuous feed disposals process food continuously, while batch feed/cover control disposals process food in batches. With continuous feed disposals, food waste can be added while the disposer is running, but with batch feed disposals, the disposer can only be run after the food waste is added.

Continuous feed disposals can be activated by multiple switch options, while cover control disposals can only be activated via a magnetic cover. However, continuous feed disposals are louder compared to a comparable batch feed disposer, and they are also less safe.

Continuous-feed garbage disposals are generally a more popular choice and have many models to choose from. Budget disposals for continuous feed disposals are also available. They are less time-consuming and more convenient to use, and they are more compact in size.

Cover control garbage disposals, on the other hand, are the safer option and are generally quieter compared to continuous feed disposals. However, they are a less popular choice with fewer models to choose from. They are also generally bulky in size and are more costly compared to similar continuous feed disposals.

How does a Continuous feed type garbage disposal work

Here is a video showing how to use a continuous feed type garbage disposal;

As you can see in the above video, running a continuous feed-type garbage disposal is very easy. First, run the water for around 5 seconds. Make sure that this is cold water. If you use hot water, it will melt the fat and grease in the foods, which will later solidify somewhere down the pipelines causing clogs.

After running cold water, simply switch on the garbage disposal using the wall switch or any other switch options available. Now while the garbage disposal is running, simply scrape off the food waste into it. You can do this as many times as you want.

Continuous garbage disposals are very convenient to use, especially if you have a large line of plates waiting to be cleaned; they are the perfect fit for a busy kitchen.


  • Continuous feed-type disposals are less time-consuming to use since you can keep adding food waste into them
  • There is a wide range of disposal models is available to choose from.
  • They are available in all price ranges. You can get them for under $100, and premium models cost as much as $400.
  • It is the most popular choice since they are easy to use and there are many options to choose from.
  • Continuous feed type have the most compact garbage disposal choices.


  • Continuous feed garbage disposals are less safe. There is a chance of any metal utensils falling into them or kids putting their hands in them.
  • They tend to be noisier than their batch-feed counterparts.
  • You will need a dedicated switch to activate them

Here are two popular continuous-feed garbage disposals;

InSinkErator Evolution Excel garbage disposal

InSinkErator Evolution Excel

Waste King 3200 garbage disposal

Waste King 3200

How does a batch feed/ cover control garbage disposal work

A cover control aka batch feed garbage disposal is operated by a magnetic switch that is activated when a magnetic cover is placed over the sink opening. When the cover is in place, the magnetic switch is engaged, and the disposal unit can be turned on using a separate switch on the unit itself.

The purpose of the magnetic switch is to prevent accidental activation of the disposal unit. Without the magnetic cover in place, the switch is not engaged, and the disposal cannot be turned on. This is a safety feature designed to prevent injury or damage to the unit.

When the disposal is turned on, the food waste is ground up by a spinning disk located inside the unit. The ground-up waste is then flushed out of the unit and down the drain.

Cover control/batch feed garbage disposals are generally quieter than other types of disposals because the cover helps to muffle the sound of the grinding. They are also considered to be more hygienic because the magnetic cover helps to keep food waste from splashing back onto the user or the sink surface.

Working of cover control/batch feed garbage disposal


  • They are safer options compared to continuous feed-type disposals. Their magnetic cover prevents anything from falling into the disposal, thus avoiding any possible hazards.
  • They are quieter than standard garbage disposals thanks to the magnetic cover, which acts as a muffler.
  • They are a good choice for island kitchens since the disposal unit can be hardwired to the mains without a switch.
  • Suitable for grinding small amounts of food waste.


  • They are bigger in size and are more costly
  • They have only fewer models to choose from
  • They are unpopular due to their bigger size and higher prices.
  • They are not easy to use if you have large amounts of food waste.

The most popular batch feed type disposals are;

Waste King 8000 garbage disposal

Waste King 8000

Evolution Cover Control

For additional reading:

My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.