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Why Use a Trash Compactor?

Garbage and Recycling
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A trash compactor is an appliance designed to fit under the countertop in a kitchen, much like the dishwasher and stove. A trash compactor contains a motor and what appears to be a regular trash can. The motor operates a press that pushes down, or compacts, what's been thrown away so that trash doesn't have to be emptied so frequently. There are a number of reasons to consider using a trash compactor.

  • Keep trash neat. Without a trash compactor, garbage and trash can pile up quickly in a home, requiring frequent trips to the outdoor trash cans that are left for garbage workers to pick up. The trash compactor compresses whatever has been thrown away in a neat, easy to carry form, with no mess at all.
  • Use fewer trash cans. With compacted trash, you can put double or triple the normal amount of trash into a can for outside pickup. You may not have a need for a second or third trash can that may have been regularly filled before getting the trash compactor.
  • Convenience. A trash compactor reduces the number of trips to take loaded kitchen trash cans to the garbage can outdoors. A compactor can also reduce the number of times animals get into trash cans because smelly trash doesn't have to sit in an outdoors can as long.

Issues with a Trash Compactor

  • Cost. The average trash compactor can be purchased for less than a dishwasher; however, some models cost as much as refrigerators. For some, a trash compactor is a luxury but isn't a necessary kitchen appliance.
  • Maintenance. As with any appliance in the house, a trash compactor may require occasional maintenance and generally lasts between 5 and 10 years before wearing out. If you decide to go without a trash compactor after installing one in your kitchen, you will be left with an empty space or an appliance that's not functional.
  • Space. If you have a very small kitchen, it may be difficult finding the space for a trash compactor. Common sizes are 15 inches or 18 inches wide, meaning the trash compactor will take up space that would normally go to lower cabinets.
  • Odor. While most trash compactors have deodorizers or fragrances designed to offset any smell from sitting garbage, odor can still be an issue and may cause some people to separate food stuffs from what is thrown away into the compactor.

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