Can I Put Chicken Bones in a Garbage Disposal?

With the holidays fast approaching, you’ll be cooking lots of stuffing, sweet potatoes, green onions, turkey – and yes, even chicken. While it’s clear that your food scraps can go in your green waste basket or down the garbage disposal, what should you do with your chicken bones? Can you put chicken bones in a garbage disposal?

Why You Shouldn’t Put Chicken Bones in the Garbage Disposal

The short answer to that question is no – definitely not. Your garbage disposal has sharp blades that can do a lot of damage to a lot of food scraps, but bones aren’t among them. While you shouldn’t fret if a few small bone fragments find their way down the disposal, you should never jam bigger bones down the drain. These will definitely cause a clog or other complications in the not too distant future.

What Should You Do With Chicken Bones?


You might be tempted to put chicken bones in your backyard compost bin – but these will actually never compose under normal decomposition circumstances. Well, they will – but it will take hundreds and hundreds of years. Frankly, you don’t want to put chicken bones in your compost bin unless you want them to stay there for a very long time.

City Food Waste

Check your city’s municipal green waste program to see their guidelines for chicken bones (or any other animal bones, for that matter). This is often the best option, because you aren’t adding to our landfills. Why can you put your chicken bones in green waste, but not in your backyard compost bin? This is because in order to decompose bones, they need to be exposed to pressure, high heat, and other extreme situations – which will happen when your food waste goes through the city’s system.


If you don’t have a green waste program offered by your city, then your only other option is to throw out your chicken bones with the regular garbage. There’s nothing really wrong with this, but it’s not the most eco-friendly option, and shouldn’t be your go-to choice. Just make sure they’re out of reach of any dogs or young children, since chicken bones are huge chocking hazards.