How to Use A Trash Compactor?

A vast supply of various equipment is designed to save money in business and make home management easy. Often, the “low-profile” equipment receives little publicity and has the most benefits. Trash compactors are one of those unseen pieces of machinery.

While many people are unfamiliar with the benefits of trash compactors, those who own them can not speak highly enough of the benefits they enjoy. If you just purchased a new trash compactor or are looking for how to use yours more efficiently, this guide will walk you through how the trash compactor works, how to use it more efficiently, why you need to own one, and how to maintain it.

How Does a Trash Compactor Work?

Trash compactors compress trash, reduce volume, and prevent odors from reaching the outside environment by combining air and hydraulic pressure. This device may be used both at home and in commercial settings. However, they all work in the same way.

A garbage compactor’s main task is reducing waste into small chunks. This makes waste more manageable. To understand how it works, you must first understand the role of each of these components.


The ram is the most important part of a trash compactor’s structure. If the term or its application is unfamiliar to you, the ram of a compactor refers to the massive, hard rectangular surface that compresses accumulated waste.

The compactor’s structure determines whether the ram moves up and down or front and back. It is always made of metal because pushing the garbage down is extremely difficult.

The Bin

Although the entire structure resembles a trash can, this term refers to the area where you throw all of your trash. This is where the ram will occasionally descend to pile up the existing waste and make room for new waste.

Because it must accommodate a large volume of material, the bin is usually the largest component of commercial trash compactors. This area is frequently designed as drawers so it can be easily accessed when needed.

The Switch

Each trash compactor has a switch that activates the trash compaction. Although their sizes and designs vary greatly, they all have this switch. If you press it and the operation does not trigger, try again.

How to Use Trash Compactors

How Trash Compactor Works

There are different types of trash compactors, and the type you have will dictate how you use them. Some fit under the counter, some are built into your kitchen appliances, and some are on casters so that they can be used in any room of the house or your garage.

This equipment is designed to be very easy to use and will come with full instructions. They consist of a container that can vary in size and a kind of metal ram that serves to compress the waste into a smaller size.

When the trash compactor is half loaded, there isn’t any trash compaction since the ram isn’t intended to fall to the bottom of the machine. Before the compactor may begin to work, it must be at least half filled.

  • To use a garbage disposal, you must fill the drawer, turn on the compactor, and remove the filled bag. You can follow these steps to use the appliance properly.
  • Before using the trash compactor, insert a disc-shaped deodorizer into the air freshener receptacle. Install a new bag by locking the drawer latch and inserting the bag caddy. Set the bag inside the caddy.
  • For electric compactors, you must plug them into the power grid. You can open the lid by waving your hand in front of it or with a foot pedal. You will have to do this manually for manual trash compactors and have a solid plate and lever. Electric compactors open automatically. All you need to do is flip a switch.
  • Before you flip the switch, place the largest objects in the center of the drawer to fill it up. Cans and bottles not in the middle risk being snagged by the ram. Although this typically doesn’t result in a jam, it will make the ram return to its starting position without completing the task. It is also vital to avoid moist waste and stinky items like fish.
  • Once the trash can is full, close the compactor and begin the compacting process.
  • Ensure you have a safety device to enable you to operate the trash compactor without injury. These devices are even more important if you have children at home. Children should never be allowed to operate or play near trash compactors. Often, the buttons are recessed so that the compactor cannot be accidentally turned on. An alarm can also go off when something is wrong with a compactor, for example, if it is loaded incorrectly. An anti-jamming feature is handy to prevent the compactor from jamming.

Should I Buy a Trash Compactor?

GE Trash Compactor

In addition to the compaction or waste reduction benefits, they provide a clear path for simplifying your waste processing operations. Trash compactors, in general, will make waste management much more manageable because they can significantly reduce trash volume and transport requirements.

Trash compactors, unlike many other types of equipment, require little maintenance.

If you are unsure about purchasing a trash compactor, consider how much you spend on trash removal.

Recycling may be encouraged with the aid of trash compactors. Some households use their garbage compactor only to treat recyclable items like cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans.

There are also environmental advantages. Using a trash compactor is an excellent means of reducing pollution. This way, you will not only be saving money but also helping the environment.

Tips on Maintaining Your Trash Compactor

Your garbage compactor will last longer and work effectively if you adhere to a few maintenance guidelines. 

Maintain Regular Trash Compactor Cleaning

You should budget for monthly garbage compactor cleaning. The platform that presses down on the trash can may be cleaned using a degreaser and a cleaner that fights microorganisms. Any other garbage compactor component that comes into contact with trash should also generally be cleaned properly.

Change the Filter

You may replace the charcoal air filter in your garbage compactor once or twice a year if it has one. You just need to follow the directions in your owner’s handbook, which will often provide precise instructions on changing the filter.


Even if you avoid putting food waste in your trash compactor, some of the waste will still include food items that might encourage the growth of germs. A foul smell may result from this. Spraying the inside with a disinfectant that kills germs will temporarily reduce odors between cleanings.

Use Caution When Disposing of Glass

Some garbage compactor types cannot compress glass. Your owner’s manual is a good source of information. Be careful not to place glass bottles too close to the bag’s bottom if your compactor can handle glass. Glass fragments might damage the garbage bag or hurt the person taking out the trash. It’s usually preferable to recycle glass.

What Can Be Placed Inside a Trash Compactor?

Trash Compactor is built to compress almost everything. However, certain items are better not placed in the compactor because of their content or composition.

  • Aerosol Cans because they contain dangerous chemicals that, when compressed, can cause explosions.
  • Insecticides and other materials containing hazardous chemicals should also be avoided.
  • Fireworks and other explosive substances should not be tossed in the compactor.
  • Raw meat is unsanitary and difficult to clean.
  • In addition to the items on the list above, you may use common sense to determine whether an object is smelly, hazardous, or difficult to clean.


Finally, the best way to use a trash compactor is to empty your trash can into it. The machine will compact the trash before being placed in the garbage can. As a result, you save money on waste management and labor. You don’t have to empty it all the time, saving you time and effort. A trash compactor is simple to use.

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