Trash compactor - yea or nay?

ilovepocoMay 10, 2011

We're leaning toward adding a trash compactor during our upcoming remodel. However, several folks have opined recently that people seem to be moving away from them - appliance salesman said that they are no longer automatic checklist items for new houses, and fewer people are adding them when remodeling. A realtor at a neighbor's open house said that they don't seem to matter one way or another to home buyers, and she's had some people want to take them out.

Do you have one? Like it? Use it? We can see the advantages of having one... but wonder if we are missing something...


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Moved in to our house with a broken TC, so never actually used one.
BUT, the idea of leaving several days worth of stinky garbage around doesn't appeal to me. Plus, compacted garbage must be mighty heavy when you want to take it out. I'd take a pass...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 2:12PM
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Used to have one decades ago. Summer house in the woods so compaction seemed like good idea. Near-total PIA in my opinion. Never again.

It did perform and didn't break -- no complaints that way. However, our emptying of the bin was governed by smell, not by volume. Benefit was far outweighed by inconvenience and odor. We tried to do it right. Rinsed and cleaned everything...or so we thought. Beyond a few days, it doesn't matter. There's always some residual and it WILL smell.

Unless overall volume is a really big deal for you, I would recommend against. Unless you intend to empty it every day, I would recommend against.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 6:51PM
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It may also depend on your volume. I used one for quite a while. It never got completely full for some time. Hence I learned to not put wet items into it. All the possibly-stinky stuff went out in other trash or down the GD.

But when it got full, the bags were heavy.

Now that I can do recycling of plastics, glass, metals and paper, I don't really need it. I would guess that %50+ of my trash goes to recycling. That would mean that the stuff in the TC would stay around a while until it filled up.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 7:29PM
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Clarification, then -- that "recycle-type" stuff. We didn't put garbage in it.....only cleaned (we thought) containers. Pretty much what we would call "recycle" stuff today. That stuff you put down the GD never went in there. Talking basically "dry" trash...cans, cartons, foam packages, etc....nothing that could go down GD.

It smelled anyway. Say again, there's always some residual. It IS going to smell.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 7:45PM
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Thanks everyone. We'll rethink this one further. In any event, we will have better undercounter organization for more recycling containers in the new kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 9:56PM
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Only yea if your local jurisdiction charges you by the trip to drop off your garbage rather than by weight or volume.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:41AM
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I've had a trash compactor since 1985 when we enlarged the kitchen and I loved it. Of course that was before our town recycled and with 3 kids and 3 dogs it got a lot of use. When it died in 1997 I replaced it.

Now the kids are on their own and we recycle as much as possible. I only empty my compactor every other week. We never put smelly items inside, even when we emptied it 2x a week. Now it's mostly non-recycled plastic containers that have been rinsed, pizza boxes, plastic wrap, Dunkin Donut paper coffee container, napkins, paper towels, waxed paper etc.

If this one dies I won't replace it. But if I were limited to a certain size trash can or had to pay by the can for trash removal or haul it to the dump myself then I would replace it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:01AM
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I just installed one in my kitchen. I like that I don't have to take out the garbage every day. In fact I ran out of bags last week and kept compacting into week 2 and there's still room in there (barely). Luckily trash day is Thursday - LOL

It's a little smelly, but some models have a filter or place to put a deodorizer (check out KitchenAid). I really don't notice the smell until I open it though.

Most food waste we put down the disposer. Some folks compost.

I put a small waste can under the sink for recycling and I line it with a plastic garbage bag.

After 14 years of "pushing" down garbage, I love it and my kids like to keep the trash compacted now.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:39PM
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We have had a trash compactor since 1985, in our new renovation we will not be replacing it. First of all trash disposal has changed, in our area we recycle much more. Garbage goes down the garbage disposal or into a garbage can in the garage. Unless you put nothing that can rot into the tc there will be odor. I think that it is important to follow the directions and protect the compacting ram by layering newspaper on top of the stuff being compacted. That adds mass and is just one more step. The ram needs to be cleaned periodically, I don't find that fun. We will have double trash pull out containers, however since I think the compactor may be used as a stand alone unit I am considering using it in the garage. We will see on that one.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Yea :)
Yes we have one, yes we like it and yes we use it. We've had our since the kitchen remodel in 2002. You learn. You learn what to put in it (like any other trashcan) and what not to. What to wrap up, put under something else, make sure you don't have food on top when you smash the trash. I really don't see how it's any different than any other trash can except you can get more in it. Our trash pickup is once a week and the tc is usually full. I gather the trash from other trash cans around the house and put it in a small trash bag. We live in the country and don't have recycling. Can't put food down the sink due to the septic system so it's either wrapped well and tucked under the trash on top, fed to the dogs, or wrapped and put in the outside trash can. It smells occasionally. So did my trashcans before a trash compactor. RARELY have I ever had to remove the bag before it was time for trash pickup. I have nothing to complain about when it comes to owning a trash compactor. Yes, a FULL bag is heavy. That's why God made husbands :) When this one dies, we'll get another.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 2:29AM
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"this one dies" are you referring to the compactor or the husband. ROFL

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 4:55PM
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Uh...both?? (g)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:44PM
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I never even considered a trash compactor. I'm guessing 60-70% of our "trash" goes into the recycle bin.
And we started composting last year. So we empty the trash maybe twice a week, sometimes only once, the night before trash pickup. I can think of many more uses for the space a trash compactor would take.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 5:58PM
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>>I can think of many more uses for the space a trash compactor would take.I've read this argument before concerning trash compactors.
My (free standing)trash compactor is 15" wide. How wide are pull out trash cans/bins or free standing kitchen sized, rubber trash cans? We have ours placed to sit nearly flush with the cabinets. We added a peninsula to the end of a run of cabinets and left a cutout at the end of the cabinets for the tc. The tc is under the peninsula countertop. TC is black, the base of the bar is Black Galaxy, appliances are black...(we) think it all blends in nicely :)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 4:10PM
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Also considering a compactor. We have no town trash pickup and are required to pay $2.50/kitchen bag to dispose of trash and .25 cents for a recycling bin. Figured a compactor might make sense provided i'm not wrestling with broken trash bags due to excessive weight.

We recycle all paper, plastic bottles, glass, etc. and compost veggies (at least when the ground isn't frozen).

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:26AM
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I buy my compactor bags at the big box stores. There are 2.5 mil thick. The only times mine have ripped is when someone puts something sharp inside the compactor - like a broken hanger- and as the ram compacts the hanger scrapped the side of the plastic. But other than that the bags are strong. I've never had the bottom break either.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:17PM
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I never had an issue with bags breaking. And my KA unit came with a wide plastic carrying strap thingy that goes under the bag and helps to lift the full bag out and carry it to the curb (or wherever).

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:35PM
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MC and Weed...thanks for the assurances on the bag-strength!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:49PM
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We had one when we moved and the appliances came with the house. Tried it. Everyone pushed the button, then we decided it wasn't our thing and tried to get rid of it in like new condition on CL. It took over a month and sold for $40. Probably about 500$ new.
Put a cabinet in it's place with a garbage can.

I'm not thinking they are that popular anymore.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:33PM
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Respectfully, anyone who has not HAD ONE really doesn't know. THEY ARE AMAZING! As the man that has to take out the trash nearly every day previous to having one I will never go without one again! Also great for condos or beach areas where space is a premium.

I have had 12" KitchenAid for about 8 years and it is awesome, LOVE IT!.
I literally only had to take it out ONCE EVERY 2 WEEKS. I used a model with 'Solid Pack' and would engage it at night to compact to the maximum. (yes it gets heavy but so what if you only take it out occasionally, take it out once a week if it gets to cumbersome).
It didn't ever smell. I would avoid putting fish heads, rotten fruit/veg in there if I new it would be leaving it in for another week. I opt instead to use the Garbage Disposal for those things.
Also putting a paper grocery bag or newspaper in before a compact helps absorb and cut down on mess. I buy plastic heavy duty bags in bulk with tabs to hold bag up. I also use a separate Bin for Recyclables as I don't use many cans or bottles.
Again, love, love, love it. I have very high end kitchen and feel it definitely adds to value. If we sell new owner can easily replace with Ikea pullout trash.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Another vote for yea. I love mine.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 1:50AM
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I know this is an old thread but....

Use ours every day. Installed original to the house in 1985. Is the only original appliance that is still in service..... Have changed the front panel at every kitchen redo to keep the wife happy. Stainless at this point. Have replaced one switch in all these years...

"Knock on wood".....

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 8:09PM
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