Trash Compactor

What Is Compactor And How Does A Trash Compactor Work?

Are you tired of taking the trash out every now and then?

Don’t you wish for a simpler method that makes this chore a little faster and more efficient? Well, a trash compactor does exactly that!

They have been used by both the masses and the enterprises for a while now. These devices can be used to minimize the size of any garbage heap and to make room for more.

If you are not familiar with them, you must be wondering - what is a compactor and how does a trash compactor work? Let’s answer both questions and more down below for your easy understanding.

What Is A Compactor?

The compactor is a general term for referring to the compaction mechanisms used in different industries to reduce the size of their waste materials. Using a machine that is built on this mechanism, businesses and houses alike can get rid of the excess garbage piling up in their area.

In addition to trash compactors that cramp down waste materials, there are also soil compactors meant for compressing the soil and other elements present in it. These particular compactors are utilized for many purposes like preparing a site for industrial, commercial or residential projects.

Because of those compactors, you don’t usually see bumps on highways, bridges, water retention structures and similar essential infrastructures of a modern locality.

What Are Trash Compactors?

Among all kinds of compactors, the most widely known variety is the trash one. You may have seen them being used at home or in a business area to crush the giant volume of trashes into smaller ones.

They also help corporations by reducing the frequency of emptying out the trash containers. Bumping down the volume of garbage in them makes more room for storing other waste materials. As a result, the professionals don’t have to clear them too often for the next stash of trash.

Types of Trash Compactors

These trash compactors are used both commercially and residentially since they are very effective in putting away the waste materials. They are classified further into different groups based on their purpose, structure and working principle. To keep it simple, we will categorize them into three types based on their uses.


Residential Trash Compactors

The residential compactors are understandably much more compact in size than the industrial varieties. They basically look just like the usual covered trash bins we all have seen at homes. But don’t judge a bin by its cover! There is actually a completely different setup inside it to ensure proper compaction.

Usually, it comes with a hydraulic mechanism that begins working when you turn on the corresponding switch. Every detachable part of the bin needs to be in the right place for this system to work.

An in-built hydraulic press comes from above and compresses the bin’s content once the switch is on. After that, you are left with more space to fill in the trash bin.


Commercial Trash Compactors

The commercially used trash compactors are understandably much larger than the residential ones.

They have huge space in their trunk-like area where various forms of non-recyclable waste are thrown into. Then a hydraulic press matching the size of that area comes from one side and minimizes the wastage volume.

If you are not satisfied with the first press, you can go for more rounds by pressing the designated switch.


Municipal Trash Compactors

For municipal use, there are specialized trash compactor cans that can hold as much as 200 gallons of waste materials! As a result, the civil workers don’t need to clear them out that often and the overall maintenance process becomes much easier. Many of these compactors are also powered by solar energy.

How Does A Trash Compactor Work?

Main Parts:


The most important part of a trash compactor’s structure is its ram. If the word or its application here seems unfamiliar to you, a compactor ram refers to the giant hard rectangular surface that compresses the accumulated trashes.

According to the compactor structure, this ram can go from top to bottom or from front to back. The portable residential and municipal models usually have them designed vertically. These rams are always made of metal since they need to be extremely hard and heavy to push the garbage down.


Although the entire structure looks like a bin, this term is used specifically to describe the space where you throw in all the trash. This is where the ram comes down every once in a while to cram the existing waste materials and make room for more garbage.

The bin is usually the largest part of commercial trash compactors since they need to accommodate a huge volume of items. Often this space is designed to be drawers so that you can easily pull them out when necessary.


Every trash compactor comes with a switch to start compressing the objects within. This is true for both commercially and residentially used devices. While their sizes and designs may vary a lot, they all have this switch to trigger the compaction. You can press it multiple times if doing it once doesn’t work.


There are often bags provided with trash compactors so that it becomes easier for you to throw them out. All the waste materials which have been compressed for so long are collected into this bag. As a result, you don’t have to make separate arrangements for taking care of the compacted garbage.

Working Principle Of A Trash Compactor

The working principle of a trash compactor is pretty simple.

1. When you load the bin or drawer with trash, just press on the corresponding switch to begin the process.

2. Soon after, the ram will come from above or the front to crush the garbage.

3. Remember to place the bottles and cans sideways and closer to the center.

4. Avoid putting in items that can lead to bad odor once crushed and kept for a while, like raw meat and fish.

5. Certain materials like glass should also be avoided. Trash compactors work best for materials like plastic, aluminum and cardboard.

Final Words

Now that you know what is a compactor and how does it works, you can make better choices for completing your household chores.

Leave it to one of these devices to compress the piled up garbage of your home and let you take them out less often.

And thus, you will have more time to focus on other aspects of your life. Make the most of it and boost your productivity levels like never before!

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