I am about to purchase a garbage disposal to install myself. Our kitchen sink has a large, deep side, and a small, shallower side. Which side is more appropriate to install the disposal in?

  • 5
    There is a significant advantage to installing the garbage disposal on the shallow side. This places the unit up higher under the sink and leaves more clearance under the disposal.
    – Michael Karas
    Jan 21, 2013 at 14:48
  • 1
    I agree that the disposal, if you're going to have one, belongs on the wash side rather than the rinse side -- assuming you're doing a two-basin technique, which many people haven't learned or distrust for some reason. Personally I would probably be using the deep side of the sink as wash, but obviously others feel otherwise. Mine's two equal basins so the question hasn't arisen.
    – keshlam
    Aug 24, 2015 at 17:54
  • Mine is currently on the small(left, dishwasher) side and I hate it. I wash dishes in the dishwasher not the sink. However I want to get the junk off my dishes namely the large frying pan before I put them in the dishwasher. All the junk ends up in the big sink, I have to transfer the junk to the little sink for the garbage disposal. I can’t use the little sink for defrosting or cleaning vegetables because the strainer can’t be stopped due to the garbage disposal ring. It’s just not designed for that. I suppose I could use a rubber thing but this is the 21st-century, and I’m spoiled. I can’t w
    – kandinski
    Apr 21, 2021 at 2:20

10 Answers 10


The small bowl is typically called a veggie bowl. The idea is that you use the large sink for cleaning dishes or soaking and then the other sink is available for prep usage, peeling etc. So, the disposal would go on the small bowl.

  • and so if you use the small bowl for peeling, then you'd want the disposal on the small bowl?
    – simpleuser
    Jan 7, 2016 at 23:26
  • 2
    I'm unclear which side you believe the disposal should be installed in...??
    – pbarranis
    Jun 6, 2016 at 16:35

I've always seen the garbage disposal installed on the smaller bowl. I'm not aware of any official convention or rule that says which side should be used, that's just what I've noticed.

Garbage disposal on small bowl


I always install into the smaller bowl. (experienced but non-professional opinion)

If you think about it, the only thing that would prevent access to the disposal is a sink full of water. I'd rather have the larger bowl available to fill up with water and still allow access to the disposal. If the user wants one bowl of water and still use the disposal, it could be frustrating to have to fill the smaller bowl.


I would say that 90% of all sinks with 60/40 splits have the disposal located in the smaller of the two areas. It only makes sense. A lot of people say they want them on the side they wash dishes in. I would be willing to bet that when they have theirs installed on the wash side that eventually they will be rinsing on that side instead of washing. Again, it only makes sense to be able to use the disposal for that forgotten plate or leftovers that have been stored too long while doing dishes in the other sink.

  • 1
    I agree with the rationale, but reach the opposite conclusion. Assuming one wants one of these monstrosities in the first place.
    – keshlam
    Aug 24, 2015 at 22:25

I personally would install on the deeper side. Due to food particles from hand washing done in the sink flowing to the disposal and easier clean up. Just my opinion. Don't think there is a rule per se on which is correct or incorrect.

  • 1
    That was our thinking when we bought our new home. The builder, of course, charged us an exorbitant fee to make this "design change". But other than that, we've been very happy to have the garbage disposal on the larger bowl. (We have a 30/70 configuration.)
    – Ted Hopp
    Jun 29, 2018 at 19:21

I know my answer is going to raise some eyebrows but here it is... If budget permits, I recommend installing 2 disposals, one on each side of the sink.

PROS: 1) flexibility in which side of the sink you want to wash/rinse/prep food 2) can use 2 different sizes (H/P) of disposals 3) less wear-and-tear on each disposal

CONS: 1) reduces cabinet space underneath 2) more costly to buy/install 2 disposals, compared to 1 disposal

It's worked-out well for me and hope it helps others, too!

  • Do you have 2 separate switches for each disposal?
    – user84207
    Apr 25, 2021 at 22:50

Placed in the big one allows to scrape food from big pots and pans directly to the GD. Small one let's you defrost turkeys, and other meats efficiently. This setup works better if you have a dishwasher on the side of the small one. InSinkErator tutorial video has it this way too


  • And it can be set up left-handed or right-handed.
    – Lee Sam
    May 12, 2019 at 22:15

I'd like it further away from the dishwasher which is on right side of the sinks. Large sink is on the left, shallow one on the right. There is bacteria in the gb so I set it up on the left with soap dispenser and on the right is air gap and filtration water faucet. Angie of San Diego


I'd like it on the shallow side to give me the most range in height for the drain lines going out the disposal, through the trap, and into the wall. The disposal lowers the drain line several inches to go through the disposal itself. Every inch of height can matter when getting the kitchen sink to drain properly.

Depending on your disposal and sink, installing on the deep sink could result in the output of the disposal being below the drain connection in the wall, which would result in water needing to flow uphill, and water doesn't flow very well in that direction.

This has the added benefit of more room under the disposal for storage.


Personally, when I'm hand-washing things I use the semi-industrial approach of wash basin to rinse basin to drying rack. That works best with two full-depth basins, and if the drying rack is on the right (as mine is) the right-hand basin is the rinse and left-handbasin is the wash. The wash basin is the one that will have almost all the food scraps in it, hence if you're going to have a disposal that's the one which needs it most.

Others use other approaches, but my point is to consider what you're using each basin for and where the disposerable scraps will be.

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