A trash compactor, also called a garbage disposal, uses force to crush and destroy trash. After the hydraulic-powered metal ram has squashed your food scraps and other waste down to a minuscule size, you simply throw away the waste bag as usual. As a result, your total trash volume is significantly reduced.
These convenience machines are quite easy to operate and consist of a few simple components. All the user needs to do is place waste items into the bin and turn on the machine. Most modern models include safety features to alert users to improper loading or other malfunctions.
1. Types of Disposals
There are three varieties of trash compactors currently available:
Freestanding: This type of trash compactor has a finished top, which allows it to double as extra counter space. Some manufacturers even offer cutting boards for freestanding tops to give you a flexible workspace.
Under-the-counter: These machines do not have finished tops. Rather, they are installed between your kitchen cabinets. When measuring the space where you intend to put your trash compactor, be sure to include your desired trim kit. (More on measuring for a compactor below)
Convertible: These units are installed as freestanding or under-the-counter compactors, offering an ideal scenario for consumers that combines the best elements of the other two types.
Most compactors or garbage disposals have similar features. The differences are more notable in their size and compacting ratio. Some important features to look for when shopping for a new unit include:
• Bin capacity and crushing power
• Removable knob controls (prevents accidental power-on)
• Anti-jamming sensors and auto-reversal technology
• Built-in air freshener or odor absorption mechanism
• Insulation to reduce noise
• Hidden controls
• Tilting wastebaskets for easy bag replacement
• Reversible front panels to match kitchen décor
Every trash compactor has its own space requirements, so it’s vital to take accurate measurements of your available space before making a purchase. Compactors range in width from 12 to 15 inches. The height will usually fall between 34.125 to 35 inches, while the depth will be between 24 to 24.5 inches. Confirming that your desired installation location can accommodate the unit will save you a lot of time and trouble.
Compactors are virtually maintenance-free, with the exception of some occasional cleaning. When it’s time to wash your machine, plan to wear thick gloves and engage in these easy cleaning steps:
• Unplug the unit
• Remove the waste bin
• Vacuum up any solid scraps
• Clean the machine, internally and externally, with warm, soapy water
• Rinse and towel dry all washed areas
• Put a new waste bag in the bin
• Regularly replace air fresheners or odor-absorbing charcoal filters