Replacing A Trash Compactor With Something Else

August 11, 2023
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What Can Be Used to Replace a Trash Compactor?

Trash compactors have become almost obsolete. The big, bulky machine is out-of-date and unused. Especially with more recycling options, a trash compactor is an ancient appliance with no real purpose in the 21st-century kitchen.

Trash compactors took care of most food waste way back when. But, if you opted to remove your trash compactor recently, you might wonder what you can replace it with so you don’t have a big, empty hole in your house.

While a hole in your kitchen is debatably better than a dust-collecting trash compactor, you want something functional that you can use daily. That said, there are some quality, well-made alternatives. Keep reading to know how to replace a trash compactor with something else.

Brief History

As established, trash compactors aren’t as popular as they used to be. Why do people not like trash compactors? Why aren’t they installed in houses anymore?

The first commercial trash compactor was invented in the 1940s to crush oil cans. By the 1970s, these machines evolved to compact household trash via hydraulic pressure and a water connection. The crushed garbage would turn into a small package for easier disposal.

Then, in the 1990s, the trash compactor underwent another design improvement with different compartments for recyclables and regular trash. Updated trash compactors use better technology, handle dry and wet waste, control odors, and store additional trash.

Poor Sales

Regardless, trash compactor sales have declined over the years and not many people own them anymore. The appliance didn’t reach the hype it was meant to because of its super expensive price, including trash compactor repair. Furthermore, trash compactors take up a lot of space.

Additionally, trash compactors make trash into rectangular packages that didn’t fit into the garbage bins to the user’s disgruntlement. While trash compactors minimize the volume of the trash, they increase the weight, making each bag weigh more than 30 pounds. In other words, your kid’s chores just got a ton harder.

Even though updated units reduce strong smells, people still complain of the decomposing food that stinks up their kitchen for a week or two until the compactor fills.


Trash compactors were designed to be environment-friendly, helping reduce the number of trash bags used and thrown in landfills. They promote trash biodegradation and increase space in dumpsters.

Perhaps you tried using your trash compactor in your new home and didn’t like how much noise it makes. Say your compactor requires intensive repairs or needs a replacement because it stopped working. Given the decline in their overall popularity, finding a competent trash compactor replacement service may be a tremendous challenge. So what do you do with it?

While trash compactors are undeniably convenient and make the kitchen less stressful, you might want that space for something else. And that’s where this article comes in.

Trash Compactor Alternatives

After tackling the straightforward process of removing your trash compactor, you or a machine repair service can replace it with something new in its slot, making your kitchen more practical and fun.

You can show off the new installation when guests come over and marvel at your updated kitchen! Look at the below options to see if any spark your creativity.

Most Kitchens Could Use a bit of Additional Cabinet Space!

Cabinet Space

Another obstacle with trash compactors is that they’re on the lower portion of the kitchen. So, when you remove it, you’ll see the floor and not a pretty wooden cabinet. You can build the shelving and cabinet pieces. While it’s a big job, it gives you more storage which is beneficial when you have a large family or live with a bunch of friends.

Think about your cabinets. Were they custom-made? If so, then the opening for the trash compactor was custom-made as well. As for modular cabinets, the team of carpenters installed the trash compactor afterward. Therefore, the sides may or may not be removable.

Be mindful of the following steps when replacing your trash compactor with cabinets. You can do it yourself if you’re crafty or get a professional repair service.

Wine Cooler

A wine cooler is a super fun idea and generally fits into the small space your trash compactor left unattended. If you can’t find a wine cooler that fits well, opt for one with measurements as close as possible, then you can cut wood to fill in the gaps. You’re sure to find a wine cooler that fills the hole in your kitchen with many sizes and customizations.

The Small Profile of a Wine Cooler Makes it a Suitable Trash Compactor Replacement that Just Might Fit in the Space Vacated by Your Trash Compactor

If you want to switch out your garbage disposal for another appliance, a wine cooler allows you to store alcohol for your indulgence or offer a glass when you host a dinner party.

Wine coolers are popular gadgets that have various options to suit any need. Remember to factor in the depth, width, and height of the space available before committing.

You can create your perfect kitchen with an efficient and reliable wine cooler to store beverages. These updated and sought-after appliances are certainly better than old trash compactors. Even if you don’t avidly collect expensive wines, this appliance is a great addition to any home and provides that sleek look that eventual home buyers will love.

Pull-Out Trash

Say you want to keep that space relatively unchanged. It was where you tossed your trash, and you liked the convenient location when cooking. You can use the space for a pull-out trash can!

An Example of Pull out Trash Can Installation

This alternative is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a trash can on a sliding shelf. You can choose designs that match the rest of the cabinetry or build the bottom of the cabinet yourself with matching wood. Or, you can purchase a pull-out trash can system online if you’re not that adamant about creating a cohesive look.

Cover It Up

You don’t need to install anything. Sounds boring, but if you don’t have the need to install something new, then you can just leave the hole and make the front look like cabinetry. Cut some wood to cover the space, sitting flat against the remaining cabinets. The only con to this idea is that you’re sacrificing additional storage space if you need it down the road.

Overall, a pull-out trash can is a great replacement that you can build in the space or use a cabinet to set the can inside. What you choose depends on your family and home warranty. But there are plenty of alternatives that you can install yourself with not much hassle!

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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