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What to Consider Before Buying a Trash Compactor

Your family accumulates a lot of garbage. Spoiled food, tissues, empty containers-you name it. And now, you and your spouse (or perhaps your children) have arrived at a familiar argument: who is going to take out the trash?

What if you had less garbage, and thus less contention in your family?

You won't see a trash compactor in every home, but these devices will reduce the volume of garbage in your home. Learn more about trash compactors and decide whether there's room in your home for one of these appliances

Advantages of Trash Compactors

What will you gain from adding a trash compactor to your household? Look at these ways you'll save with this appliance.

Save space. Maybe you have a growing family. Maybe you are a foodie who is tired of dedicating valuable kitchen space to a large trash can. No matter why you're accumulating a lot of waste, a trash compactor will reduce that problem. Even light-duty trash compactors will condense your trash 75 percent-that's one bag of trash instead of four.

Save money. You will use fewer garbage bags with a trash compressor, and if your neighbourhood charges for garage pickup by volume, you will see a smaller bill. Although these savings seem minor, they will add up significantly over time.

Save the environment. If your trash takes up less room in your home, it will ultimately take up less space in a landfill.

Disadvantages of Trash Compactors

Because a trash compactor isn't an essential appliance, you may want to consider these downsides before you commit.

Plan for upfront costs. Trash compactors can be expensive, depending on the complexity of the model you choose. Again, you can save money long-term, but you might want to stick with your average trash can if you can't spare the funds now. You should plan to replace your trash compactor after about 10 years.

Save the environment even more. Remember, condensed trash is still trash. Aside from reducing the volume of your trash, you should still make an effort to reduce the amount of trash you make. Cook smaller meals or plan a schedule of leftovers if you throw away a lot of food. Use silverware and dishware over plastic utensils and paper plates. Repair or repurpose broken items.

If you simply want to save money or reduce your carbon footprint, there are more efficient ways to do so. But if you feel overwhelmed by garbage in your home, take the plunge and invest in a trash compactor.

Items You Shouldn't Compact

If you are seriously considering a trash compactor, you'll need to know how to use it properly. Trash compactors can handle a lot of waste, but you should dispose of the following items without compacting them.

  • Oils: Your unused grease, salad dressing, etc. can leak, which could cause mechanical trouble in your device or at least create a mess when it's time for you to pull out the trash bag.
  • Wooden materials: Wood can split and harm the motor.
  • Electronics: Leave out old batteries, CDs, DVDs, videotapes, or any other electronic waste.
  • Meat or leftovers that could spoil: With your trash compactor, you won't have to take out your trash as often. However, this advantage can turn sour if you let meat or other foods sit too long and collect bacteria. Throw these items into the garage disposal instead.
  • Foods with strong odours: For the same reason as perishable foods, don't compact onions, garlic, or other foods with strong odours. The smell will linger around until you take out the trash-and probably even longer. Take those foods to your bin outside or send them down the garage disposal.
  • Glass: While some manufacturers may claim their compactors can crush glass, take caution when dropping glass into this appliance. The glass shards can tear through the trash bag and cause problems. Check the owner's manual to see what types of glass and what thickness of glass your trash compactor can handle. If you can, recycle glass instead.

As part of your efforts to keep your trash neat, you should also wrap wet or mushy food waste before throwing it in your compactor.

Other Concerns

Is a Trash Compactor Hard to Clean?

Not at all. Trash compactors still use garbage bags, which will catch most of the mess. If you want to deep clean the machine, turn off your trash compactor and unplug it. Use a mix of warm water and dish detergent to wipe down the exterior and clean out the interior.

What About the Smell?

Your garbage will sit around longer with a trash compactor, but newer models use charcoal filters or specially designed odor control systems to reduce the smell. Before you put in another trash bag, spray the interior with a deodorizer or sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the unit.

If you have other questions, consult a sales representative about a specific compactor model. Consider getting a trash compactor. You'll be left with less garage and more harmony in your home.