A trash compactor installed in the kitchen helps to limit trips to the trash while also being environmentally friendly. It helps to shrink household waste. Plus, the trash compactor has the ability to cut transportation costs and takes a lot less space on a landfill site.
The basic function of the trash compactor is to use ram force to minimize the trash volume. Less trash means fewer trips to the garbage can. They come in most colors (wood panel, stainless steel, white, black, etc.) and styles to match the existing home decor.
If your old trash compactor is made of metal, it is recyclable. Get in touch with your local waste management authority to learn how to recycle your old unit.
Picking a trash compactor
The trash compactor is split between three basic models: convertible, under-the-counter and freestanding
- Freestanding – A stylish design with a finished top makes extra countertop space. Certain units have the top as a cutting board for great flexibility and function.
- Under-the-counter – These are best installed between existing cabinets and come without a finished top. The use of a trim kit can create the flush console look. Carefully measure the unit (including trim kit) to ensure it will fit the available space.
- Convertible – A versatile design with the option to use as an under-the-counter or freestanding unit.
The different brands and types of trash compactor vary in size. Make sure to take precise measurements of the available space in the kitchen or other area. In general, the standard size of a trash compactor is about 34-1/8 to 35 in height, 12 to 15 inches in width, and 24 to 24 ½ Inches in depth. With the right measurements to hand, it is much easier to begin the shopper process.
- The trash compactor is built with a wide range of features, including:
- Adjustable compression and capacity force
- Safety controls to prevent unauthorized use
- Anti-tilt and jam sensors
- Odor absorption filters to avoid unwanted smells
- Easy installation systems
- Insulation to minimize noise
- Usefully concealed controls
- Tilt trash basket for easy collection
- Customizable front panels to match the kitchen’s decor
Bear in mind the compacted trash will be a lot heavier than standard waste bags. But there is a choice of compacting ratio of 4:1, 5:1 or 6:1, so go with what is appropriate for the family.
Trash compactors are built to be virtually maintenance free, and only require the occasional clean. Clean the compactor using the following steps:
- Wear thick, sturdy gloves
- Switch off and unplug the unit
- Pull out the bin or bag and caddy, and refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions
- Give the inside a vacuum
- Clean the internal and external surfaces with warm, soapy water
- Leave to dry
- Replace the caddy and use a fresh bag
- Check and replace the charcoal filter or air freshener as required
Trash compactors are useful for tackling general waste and not a substitution for composting or recycling. Compacting isn’t the same as trash reduction through recycling, reusing or reducing. But it is useful for cutting trips to the trash can. To increase eco-efforts, a biodegradable or paper bag is best used in the trash compactor.
Trash compactors are practical for disposing of general household waste. Try to recycle trash where possible and kitchen scraps make a useful compost material for the garden.
If you are looking for a trash compactor for your kitchen, our list of top 5 best trash compactors can help you easily make a wise decision.