Good interior design and renovation need not be expensive

Kitchen Waste No More

North America has lived with under-sink garbage dispoals for several decades now. Not so in Singapore. Kitchen waste is typically bagged and thrown down a rubbish chute for collection and ultimately, dumped into landfills or incinerated.

Back in those days while living in Singapore, we found bagged kitchen waste a problem: It promotes pest infestation within the household and the community space where rubbish is collected (try standing near a rubbish chute…). Roaches, ants, lizards, rats are all too common in Singapore. 

So we decided to go ahead with installing an under-sink garbage disposal (or garburator) in our apartment, after experiencing how convenient it really is, and greatly reduces pest problem. There are only two suppliers in Singapore selling the most popular American brand: InSink Erator. 

Sansei Singapura Pte Ltd
No. 462 Tagor Industrial Avenue, 2nd Floor
Tel: 6292 8321
Email: sansei@sansei.com.sg

Kang Li Far East Pte Ltd
Blk 32, Toh Guan Road East
Tel: 6773 2166
Email: kangli@singnet.com.sg



We got a basic model 45 with 1/2 horsepower (commonly known as Badger 5 series in US) that cost $430, almost 3.5 times more than what it would cost to buy it in the US. Plumber fees is $260. The appliance comes with an installation manual and a specific allen key that is used for future repair works in case the grinders get stucked.

Total cost: $690

InSink Erator instruction manual and allen key


The results have been very encouraging: Our ktichen waste is nearly cut down to just one small bag a day (mainly for large bones that cannot be grinded). No ants or roaches infestation so far (disclaimer: it’s been only two months). We were worried about foul smells coming from the sink and drains down below, but we’ve been vigilant in dousing it with lemon slices and ice every night. The kids are taught never to put their hands into the hole and they know it, so no accidents so far. The only minor issue is the switch is under the sink as well, so we have to open the cupboard door each time we want to turn it on. Our electrician refused to put any switches on or near the sink despite my assurance and numerous pictures to show them how it’s done safely in the US. 

This is what our under-sink looks like now:



14 comments on “Kitchen Waste No More

  1. Pingback: Kitchen Transformation – Devil in the Details | budgetreno

  2. ray callier
    August 30, 2015

    Can you tell who you used for the installation of your garbage disposal?
    Thank You


    • budgetreno
      September 11, 2015

      Hi Ray, our plumber was recommended by a local distributor of InSink Erator, Sansei Singapore Pte Ltd. (Tel 62928321), sansei@sansei.com.sg. Unfortunately, I did not get the plumber’s contact details but I am sure Sansei can share with you if you give them a call.


  3. shirin
    February 12, 2016

    Am considering getting a garberator….just wondering if yours is still working well. My concern is that if something goes wrong, will anyone know how to fix it since it is not a common item here in SG unlike US/Canada.


    • budgetreno
      February 13, 2016

      Hi Shirin, I was thinking the same when I installed it. From experience, the garburator doesn’t usually breakdown, but it probably will need to be replaced after 10 years of usage. In anycase, if you do need after sales care, the distributor in Singapore should be able to provide it. Our garburator is working perfectly after abt 1.5 years. Fingers crossed!!!



  4. David
    November 16, 2016

    On the power connection, is that just a US 3-prong plug into a converter? Or did they use a proper UK/Singapore plug? Wondering if I can buy the garburator from the USA and install it here in Singapore. Thanks, David


    • budgetreno
      November 16, 2016

      They used a US plug but the voltage is for Singapore use. I don’t think it is a good idea to buy from US since US uses a different voltage standard from Singapore. The appliance may not work here.


  5. Ariel
    September 6, 2017

    Hi Thanks for sharing your experiences, as we are also on a very tight budget, your articles are truly a great help. Pertaining to the garburator, you mentioned earlier you bought another one via ali express which only cost $250. May I ask whether it is still working alright as compared to the Insinkerator? Thanks, Ariel


    • budgetreno
      September 6, 2017

      It didn’t work. Don’t get any electronic items from AliExpress. But to be fair, the seller offered to send me a replacement unit for free, I just didn’t want it.


  6. juznuts
    June 29, 2018

    Hi, may I know how your insinkerator is holding up after 4 years? Can hdb pipes handle the output? I’m getting an old resale flat and was thinking of installing one.


    • budgetreno
      July 1, 2018

      The insinkerator is holding up fine, the sink hasn’t done so well though. i think all the shaking and vibration from the Insinkerator may have loosen something, there is a slight leak coming from the sides of the sink. i don’t know about HDB pipes, I haven’t had any problems so far with the trash washing down.


      • juznuts
        July 1, 2018

        Ahh good to know. Thanks!


  7. JH
    August 18, 2018

    I am very interested in installing the grinder at my place as well. I was curious about the legality of it though. Is this legal in Singapore?


    • budgetreno
      August 26, 2018

      I haven’t yet found a rule somewhere in Ministry of Environment website that says it’s illegal, but that doesn’t mean it’s out there and I just haven’t found it yet. Anyway, if it is, am sure the supplier wouldn’t have taken the risk to sell it here. So…. I’ve taken the chance and went ahead to install it in my home. It’s really up to you.


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This entry was posted on August 27, 2014 by in Kitchen and tagged , , , , , , .
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