InSinkErator, a unit of Emerson Electric, had virtually no sales in Europe in the early 1990s, where garbage disposals are often seen as a convenience that wastes water and clogs pipes – they’re even banned in Portugal, Austria and the Netherlands. But a new green strategy has helped InSinkErator to nearly double its world-wide sales in the past decade to close to $500 million annually, The Wall Street Journal reports.
With governments trying to reduce their environmental impact, the company spotted an opportunity. “We didn’t invent disposers to be an environmentally friendly solution” to waste problems, Joe Ferrara, director of European operations, says in the article. “But they do have all these positive impacts on the environment.”
Here’s the gist of the company’s green pitch. It says that when deployed en masse, say apartment complexes and new housing developments, disposals can help decrease truck pick ups for heavy food scraps. Perhaps more important, water treatment facilities must be able to produce methane from the material and convert it to an alternative source of energy.
In the U.S., where disposals are more common, the company isn’t pushing a green marketing angle.