A trash compactor is a useful device in any household. They are primarily used in the kitchen but some are portable and can be moved around the house. They work on a simple principle – they press down on your garbage with a crushing force so that the volume of your household garbage is significantly reduced. Some use your own power and you have to press down with your hand but others have electric motors. The force applied varies between models as does the overall capacity of the compactor.
A home trash compactor will save you both time and money. You will not have to put the trash out so often and will pay less for waste services. You will also need less storage space for your trash and they will encourage you to recycle. Compacted garbage takes up less room in landfills which is great for the environment. To help you make the right choice, check out our guide to the best trash compactors.
The Best Trash Compactor
This strong but lightweight trash compactor is made from fingerprint resistant stainless steel so it always looks good. It opens using a soft-touch pedal that is extra wide and will last for thousands of presses. The lid locks open for as long as you need it to and when you are finished it silently closes thanks to a clever air-release design.
The compactor features a useful locking mechanism which keeps the bag securely in position. The total volume of the compactor is 40 liters and it uses either 10 or 13 gallon trash bags. No electricity supply is required, the force of your hand is enough.
Strong but lightweight
The lid locks open
Soft-touch pedal that is extra wide
40-liter total volume
- BrandHousehold Essentials
- Weight22 pounds
Solidly built trash compactor
Stainless steel does not smear
Easy to use
Magnets are not that strong
Compactor handle needs continual cleaning
There is a total of one cubic foot volume in this trash compactor which is fully portable. You can use it for compressing trash anywhere in your home or in your garage and you can easily move it around on the strong rubber casters with a locking mechanism. It uses a small but powerful 1/3-HP motor to provide a compression of 2,200 pounds of force per square inch. It will reduce waste to around a quarter of its original volume.
Thanks to the hammered granite surface, it looks great and has a rugged appeal. There is a strong tread plate for opening the portable trash compactor which is durable and gives you a hands-free operation. The button to start up the compactor and turn it off is recessed to avoid accidental operation and to give a sleek design. You can be confident that it will not jam even when it is heavily loaded thanks to the anti-jam mechanism.
One cubic foot volume
Portable on rubber castors
Powerful 1/3-HP motor
- Weight155 pounds
Durable and strong
Drastically reduces volume of trash
A little noisy
Trash can be difficult to get out
With this compactor you can reduce your trash volume by a massive 66%. It has a total capacity of eight gallons and will reduce 24 gallons of waste before it needs to be emptied. This means you have less trash to dispose of.
To help control odor in your home, there is an integrated carbon filter which can be replaced. It has a very hygienic and mess-free operation and you don’t have to touch the trash. It has been designed to avoid tearing the liners. The attractive stainless-steel finish does not show up fingerprints so it always looks good. It opens up using a strong foot pedal.
Reduces trash volume by 66 %
Odor controlled by replaceable carbon filters
Will not tear liners
Stainless steel finish does not show fingerprints
- BrandJoseph Joseph
- Weight17.42 pounds
Works well with non-recycle trash
Looks great in the kitchen
Will only work with certain bags
May be too narrow for some trash
This compactor has a large capacity of 1.4 cubic feet. It has enough power to compact all your refuse thanks to the 1/3 HP built-in motor. This gives you a 75% compression ratio which dramatically reduces the volume of your trash.
For the safety of your family, it features a removable key lock and the controls are hidden so it cannot be operated accidentally. There is an anti-jam mechanism to keep it working and a side release that allows you to slide out the drawer to remove the compacted trash. You open it using a foot-operated pedal. It has an attractive stainless-steel finish.
Large capacity of 1.4 cubic feet
Removable key lock
Slide out removable drawer
Attractive stainless-steel finish
Great safety features
Motor makes a noise
May be too large for some consumers
The clever and innovative design of this garbage compactor saves you both time and money. The touch-free lid is automatic and opens when you motion your hand. This prevents you coming into contact with dirt and germs.
Unpleasant odors are kept under control by the activated carbon filters which keep your home smelling fresh. Delivered with the compactor you will get a replaceable filter, a disposable compactor plate and two trash bags. It has a large 13 gallon capacity and a space-efficient design. The brushed stainless-steel surface is finger-proof and smudge resistant. The compactor is powered by a battery or by AC power.
Replaceable odor filters
13 gallon capacity
Finger-proof and smudge resistant
- Weight12.55 pounds
Extra wide opening will fit most garbage
Foldable rod is not that strong
Weighs a lot
The design of this trash compactor is superbly flexible so it can be used as a free-standing unit or it can be built-in to your kitchen design. It is available in black or white to suit your home décor. There is an attractive wrap-a-round panel which gives a sleek design feel.
The control console of this whirlpool trash compactor is operated by touch and there is a hidden removable operation key for safety. It also features a useful automatic anti-jam mechanism.
Can be freestanding or built-in
Attractive wrap-a-round panel
Automatic anti-jam mechanism
- Weight145 pounds
Very flexible design
Seldom jams up
Hygienic no-touch mechanism
Needs a power supply
May be too wide for some kitchens
Best Trash Compactors Buying Guide
Things to Look for in a Trash Compactor
Before you go out and buy a trash compactor, check out our list of the things that you should look for.
- Compression force
Think about what you will be compressing in your home trash compactor. If you are going to use it for crushing cans and plastic bottles, you should opt for a model that has at least 5000 pounds of force. For softer refuse, you could choose a model with just 2000 pounds. There is no point in buying a compactor that cannot cope with the job that you want it to do. The compactors that use manual compression do not have as much force as those that use electricity.
Where do you want to keep your compactor? There are freestanding models that can be placed anywhere in your kitchen or there are built-in models that fit in with your kitchen. This is a matter of personal preference. If you are fitting a new kitchen in your house, you may prefer a built-in model. Some devices are also portable. They have robust rubber castors and they can be moved from one location in your home to another. This is convenient if you generate a lot of trash in another location in your home such as the garage.
- Odor control
It is useful if you have a carbon filter built into the composter that will help to eliminate unpleasant odors from the garbage. These can be replaced as needed.
- Smooth and quiet operation
It is best if the electric motor runs quietly as you will probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Also, an automatic anti-jam feature is very useful as it will save you having to sort out annoying jams. Some models have an alarm that sounds when the device is overloaded or incorrectly loaded. This saves the compactor from getting damaged.
- Safety features
Garbage compactors use considerable crushing force and are therefore potentially dangerous, especially for children. You should make sure that children are never allowed to touch the device or play near it. It also helps if the compactor has recessed or hidden buttons or a removable key so that it cannot be turned on accidentally.
Why You Should Invest in a Garbage Compactor
If you have never had a garbage compactor before, you may not be clear about the benefits that it can bring. It is a wise investment for many reasons. Here are the main ones.
- It will save you time
Taking the trash out is one of those chores that no household member wants to do. Therefore, the less often it needs doing, the better. With a garbage compactor in your home, the volume of your waste is drastically reduced and therefore it will not have to be taken out so frequently. This saves you time and allows you to get on with other things.
- It saves on storage
We all need somewhere to keep our garbage in between collections. Sometimes collections are once a week but sometimes they are less frequent. This can add up to a large volume of refuse, especially if you have a large family. Perhaps, you don’t have enough space to store all of this refuse? A garbage compactor will reduce the volume of your refuse so it can be stored neatly in a much smaller area. Because a compactor produces regular rectangles of compressed garbage, they can be stacked neatly so they take up even less room in your garage or yard.
- It can save you money
Do you have a charge applied to your home for collecting your waste that is calculated by volume? If that is the case, compacting your trash will help you make significant savings on waste removal costs. It could cut down the fees levied by a homeowner association (HOA). If you take your own trash to a municipal dump, compacting your garbage will cut down on the number of journeys that you have to make.
- It saves the environment
Compacting your garbage is the green option. It encourages householders to recycle and to think about the volume and type of waste that they produce which is great for the environment. You may choose to dedicate your compacter for just plastic or card. Also, when the volume of waste is reduced, it takes up less room in a landfill and that also benefits the environment.
- It reduces odors and mess
Most garbage compactors are operated using a pedal or by a motion of the hand. This makes them very hygienic because you don’t have to touch the device which could transfer contamination to your hand.
How to Use a Waste Compactor
There are different types of trash compactor and the type that you have will dictate how you use it. Some fit under the counter, some are built-in to your kitchen units and some are on castors so they can be used in any room of the house or in your garage.
Trash compactors are designed to be very easy to operate and will come with full instructions. They comprise of a container which can vary in size and some sort of metal ram that is used to compress the refuse into a smaller size. When you set up the compactor, you use a bag to line the trash receptacle and this needs to be compatible with your compactor or it could tear.
For electrically operated compactors, you need to plug them into the power supply. As you create waste in your kitchen or elsewhere, place it in your trash compactor. Often the lid is operated by waving your hand in front of it or with a foot pedal. Once the bin is full up, close the compactor and start the compaction process. You will need to manually do this for manual trash compactors and you will have a strong plate and lever to do it. Electric compactors do it for you and you just have to flick a switch.
There should be safety features that help you to operate the waste compactor without suffering an injury. These are even more important if you have children in the house. Children should never be allowed to operate a trash compactor or to play near one. Often the buttons are recessed so that the compactor cannot be accidentally switched on. There may also be an alarm that sounds when something has gone wrong with a compactor such as it being loaded incorrectly. An anti-jam function is handy to stop the compactor from getting stuck.
Best Trash Compactors FAQ:
Q: What is a kitchen trash compactor?
A: A kitchen trash compactor is a device that reduces the volume of your household rubbish. It does this by compressing it within the body of the compactor. This means that you produce a smaller volume of waste every week. You don’t have to take your trash out so frequently which saves you a lot of time and if you pay per unit volume for waste to be collected it will also save you money.
Q: How does a trash compactor work?
A: Trash compactors are usually rectangular in shape. You put in the refuse at the top just as you would with a regular trash can. There may be a hands-free lid that opens automatically or it may be operated using a foot pedal. Once the refuse is inside, it can be compacted. This can be done using a manual compacter which uses your own strength to press down. If you have an electric or battery-operated trash compactor, there will be a hydraulic arm that presses down. The arm is powered by a small motor.
Q: How do I clean a trash compactor?
A: Trash compactors are designed to be easily cleaned. The outside can be wiped over with a damp cloth. The inside will be protected by the trash bag. However, if the bag tears you will need to clean it. You will need to disconnect the device from its power supply before you clean it. Follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully.
Start by removing the bag from the interior of the device and scrape out any debris that may have collected at the bottom of the trash compactor. Watch out for broken glass and can lids that can block the unit and which can cause injuries. Then mix some mild detergent with some water and use it to spray around the interior walls. Alternatively, you could use a commercial anti-bacterial detergent that is supplied in a spray bottle. Let the cleaning agent stay in contact for a few minutes and then wipe it off using a soft clean cloth or paper towels. Allow the device to air dry thoroughly because damp walls encourage bacterial and mold growth which will result in odors.
If the device has an odor filter, check that it does not need replacing. If there is no odor filter, you can combat odors yourself by sprinkling some baking soda onto the bottom of the unit before you put a fresh trash bag into it.
Q: What bags should I use?
A: Trash compactors are sometimes supplied with a few bags. You should try to buy bags that are similar to these. Also, the manufacturer may give recommendations for bags. It is essential that they fit correctly because torn bags are a problem inside trash compactors. This will result in refuse being spread inside the compactor and you will have to thoroughly clean it. Tyr to buy strong bags that can handle compacted garbage which is heavier per unit volume than regular garbage.
Our Top Pick
Our pick of the best trash compactors is a strong but lightweight model with a stainless-steel exterior. It opens using a soft-touch pedal that is extra wide and durable. The lid locks open and closes silently using an air-release design.
The garbage compactor features a useful locking mechanism which keeps the bag securely in position. The total volume of the compactor is 40 liters and it uses either 10 or 13 gallon trash bags. No electricity supply is required, the force of your hand is enough.
- How to Clean a Trash Compactor – Do it Yourself