Is it worth it to Have a Trash Compactor?

September 27, 2022
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The Pros and Cons of Having a Trash Compactor

In our modern world today, we have access to appliances that make our life convenient and easier. A trash compactor is one of those appliances that help you use fewer garbage bags and make fewer trips taking out the trash.

But the trash compactor also requires the purchase of specialty bags which may or may not be worth it to some people. If you are considering purchasing this appliance and would like to know if it’s worth having a trash compactor, it’s good to know the pros and cons beforehand.

What Is a Trash Compactor?

A trash compactor compresses trash can waste periodically to maximize the space in your trash can and prolong the need to take the trash out. Another use is to crush single items that are bulky and can take up space in your trash can. Once the item is crushed, place it into a separate container to save room in your trash and recycle bins.

The trash compactor comes with a metal ram, bin, and switch. The metal ram crushes the trash. Then the crushed items are placed in the bin. The switch located on the compactor turns the compactor on or off.

Some trash compactors come with a bag retainer switch to keep the container from separating. Some have sensors that function when the compactor is opened or will stop it from operating if the bag is overflowing or something is not operating correctly.

A trash compactor is not to be confused with a garbage disposal, which is connected to the kitchen sink to immediately remove food waste.

The Cost of a Trash Compactor

The average cost of a trash compactor is approximately $900. There are some basic manual compactors on the market for less than $200. While other more advanced commercial trash compactors can cost $1500. The difference in the cost is the features.

The Pros of Owning a Trash Compactor

Is it worth it to have a trash compactor? There are several advantages to owning a trash compactor, including:

1.   Convenience

We live in a world of convenience. We seek things that will make our life less stressful and complicated, especially when dealing with mundane tasks such as dealing with the trash. A trash compactor that crushes bulky items and items that can be difficult to fit into a trash bag has become a household essential that makes life more convenient.

Many would say it is worth it to have a trash compactor solely because it helps you make fewer trips to take out the garbage. Also, more items will fit in your trash bag, and the compression of trash is not cumbersome or messy.

Depending on the compression ratio, the compactor may take up to six compression bags. Those who live in apartment buildings, the elderly, or those with physical limitations will enjoy the convenience of a trash compactor.

2.   Extra Space

You'll have more space since the trash compactor crushes bulky items and condenses trash. Trash pick-up days are usually weekly for most people, which means the trash can take up a lot of space, especially if you have more than one or two people living together.

 A trash compactor can be worth it because it will free up space, allowing room for other items or appliances.

3.   Saves Money

Although trash compactors may cost more than you would like to pay, it's wise to consider the long-term costs. A trash compactor cuts down on the need for trash bags.

So you’ll save money on trash bags and stickers if you’re city’s waste management department requires them on your bags. Since it will also free up space, it can save money in some other way by giving room for another appliance or item that can be beneficial.

4.   Saves Time

As many are familiar with, preparing trash, placing it in bags, and taking it out takes time. This is time you could be doing something else instead of grabbing multiple bags and dragging them outside to the curb or the garbage bin.

You'll have less trash and fewer heavy bags to take out. Those who usually have two or three trash bags now have one. Those who have three or four bags now have two.

5.   Neatly Done

Dealing with the trash can be messy, especially when the bags tear because the trash is too heavy or too bulky. A trash compactor is worth having because it condenses bulky or heavy items. And if you buy the recommended bags, they will not break from the weight of the trash.

6.   Helps the Environment

Many people are concerned about keeping our environment clean. Most cities have recycling bags or boxes for residents to use to cut down on material that can harm the environment. Having a trash compactor helps reduce the use of dumpsites and landfills.

7.   Recycling Benefits

A trash compactor is worth having because it crushes and condenses boxes, cartons, and other paper or plastic material. Condensed items mean you’ll have more space in the bin to recycle everything you need to.

8.   Easy To Use

Unlike some appliances, the best trash compactors are easy to install and use. Place the compactor where you would like it to be. When using it, open the door, put the trash inside, close the door, turn the switch on, and let the compactor do the rest. After it has compressed the trash, take the remains out and place them in a trash bag.

The Cons of Owning a Trash Compactor

When deciding if it is worth it to have a trash compactor, keep in mind the disadvantages you may face.

1.   Not Suitable for Certain items

All trash will not be able to go into your compactor. Items made out of glass need to be placed in the trash bag directly or through other means of disposal. Glass items can destroy your compactor.

2.   Compression Bags Can Be Heavy

Although it will provide more space, trash compactor bags can weigh as much as 50 pounds. The weight may be too heavy to carry for the elderly, children, those with physical limitations, or people who are small in stature. Keep this in mind, when removing the trash.

3.   Short lifespan

Most trash compactors last between 5-10 years. Not very long in comparison to other appliances. Not to mention, there may be more times than you care for repairs and maintenance to keep it working properly. You'll have to weigh the cost on whether or not this is an issue.

4.   Special Bags

Another cost issue concerning trash compactors is the bags needed. You will need to purchase up to six special bags for the appliance. Most often, regular trash bags won't work. You will pay an additional cost for these bags and replace them when needed.

5.   Bad Smells

Maybe not a big issue because trash smells anyway. Even though some compactors come with deodorizers, trash in a compactor tends to smell more than in typical kitchen trash cans.

When food waste and other perishable items sit for a long time in a contained area, they start to smell faster. Of course, there are ways to reduce the odor. You can place baking soda, incense, or deodorizers nearby. Or you can use charcoal filters, however, this is a more expensive option.

Smelly Trash from a Trash Compactor

Due to Trash Being in the Compactor Longer, It Can Certainly Emit an Unpleasant Smell That Needs to Be Periodically Treated

6.   Limited Space

One of the advantages of using a trash compactor is that it doesn’t take up a lot of space and can allow for additional room. However, if you already have a small kitchen, a trash compactor may reduce space that’s already limited. Some trash compactors take up counter space or cabinet space you may not have.

Types of Trash Compactors

When deciding whether or not it’s worth it to have a trash compactor, it’s good to know your options.

Under-Counter (Built-in) Trash Compactor

These trash compactors are built-in between two bottom kitchen cabinets - similar to a dishwasher. They are the more costly compactors since they are professionally installed and are motorized.

Portable or Convertible Trash Compactor

Portable compactors are units that operate as standalone appliances or are installed under your kitchen counter like the built-in ones.

Manual Trash Compactor

If you’re working with a small budget, manual compactors, like the Trash Krusher, are inexpensive. However, you'll work harder to operate these stationary compactors. They require you to use a handheld panel to press the trash down by hand. The lack of motors or power also means they are less effective at compressing trash.

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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