Trash compactor? To get one or not to get one?

yellowstoveApril 29, 2014

I love the idea of trash compactors in that they will reduce the number of times I have to take out the trash- which right now is every day. Those non recyclable plastic clamshells that veggies and berries come packaged in take up so much trash space every day for our family! I have heard, however, dormant negative things about them and my husband is terrified if the smell. And that we'd have to have another garbage can anyway. Anyone love their trash compactor??

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We had one in our last house and actually had it removed to add a regular pull out trash space. NEVER used it when it was there. We are not adding one in our new build either.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:45PM
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I would never want a trash compactor personally. I agree with your husband.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:57PM
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We had one in our last house, we loved it. It was great, 5-7 bags of garbage compacted into one. In the new house we did the regular trash pull out. It's nice but we really miss not being able to compact the garbage and take it out way less often. Instead of once a week, it's now 3 or 4 times. We are considering putting another compactor in in the future, they are really nice to have. Our one regret in our new kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:34AM
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And regards to the smell, it rarely did. We also did throw the odd scrap of food... in from time to time. The smell is no worse than any other garbage can or trash pull out in any kitchen. There is also a air freshener inside the compactor as well as a fan (we never used it) and they close up tight when closed.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:43AM
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I have always had trash compactors. I make sure I put raw meat scraps in the outside trash, but nothing else smells bad. I also have never used those expensive compactor bags. We use those kitchen bags that have the red plastic around the top that you pull to cinch the bag closed. So take a trash bag with you to the appliance store to make sure it fits.

They have air fresheners in them, but we never replaced them. They close up pretty tight. If it smells when you open it, take it out or see what item is smelling and tell family not to put that in anymore.

Now with that said, our new trash compactor, a Jenn Air, is broken after six months of use. They have a 4" plastic gear and a 1" plastic gear that make the smasher go up and down. Our 4" gear broke. We had one compactor for 25 years and another for 12 years and never had to repair one. So do some research on which brands have troubles with broken plastic parts if you do decide to buy one.

I would never be without a compactor in my kitchen. They don't take up that much space. Even compacted, the bags are not really heavy.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 1:55AM
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Elraes Miller

I had one long ago which smashed things so well the bags were a bit heavy to get out. But I always liked having it. Oddly while at Restore they had a fairly new one, well, 6 yrs old. They won't sell appliances over 5, so I got it free. It has worked for another 5 years and no smells, no problems. Very easy to keep clean. I love only taking one bag of trash out a week.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 7:59AM
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the appliance folks look at me strange when i include it as part of my quote package so i guess it's not super popular anymore, but my parents had one, my sister has one and sine my parents got one, everyone else in our family has gotten one when undergoing a kitchen reno. i'm just used to it. they don't smell unless you have stinky food garbage in there for days and days. i am not sure which one to get though. the reviews are so mixed. right now we are going with the ge monogram.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:20AM
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I like the way my compactor improves my quality of life. It means far fewer trips out to the trash in the garage, and then fewer trips from garage to curbside trash. I've never been without a compactor in thirty-five years, and planned a spot for it right in my clean-up zone.

You can get them with a full door appliance panel, a step-on lever that pushes it out to you, and I also soundproofed my cabinet box so that it is very quiet. We recycle glass, plastic, metal, paper, and clean cardboard, so the compactor takes the cellophanes, Styrofoam, metallic printed papers, and anything else not yet recyclable in our town.

We compost all food waste (except large amounts of fats and oils), and we make so much compost that I also include the small bits of meats and cheeses that are waste here. The waste oils and fats go into a container in the freezer which is emptied just before the compactor bag is full and taken out.

YMMV, but I do really like having a compactor, just put a new one in my remodel, and would put one in anywhere I moved later.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:40AM
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I think it would be perfect for recyclables! I had one for trash, and used it...I was in a building where it was a trek to the dumpster. In my house, the kitchen recycling bin fills up so fast, and the garage bin fills up, too. If I could compact everything, it would be fewer trips to the garage and no recyclables overflowing and blowing around on trash day. I guess I'd just worry about the glass.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:44AM
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My husband was very suspicious that the trash compactor would be a smelly problem when a house we bought already had one. It took precious little time before he became a convert. He would never want to be without one now. Since then, have had two trash compactors over the past 25 years, and there will be a new one in this remodel as well.

We love compactors for just the reason you stated, we do not have to take out the trash every day, or more often. For us everything is neater and easier to manage with a trash compactor.

As far as "smell" concerns, we aren't very choosy about what food items go into the compactor. We have RARELY had any detectable odor. Probably less that if we had any other type of garbage can. We do not buy the charcoal air cleaners for it either. There are some occasions that we choose to take trash straight to the curbside can, which are probably no different than if we were using a regular trash pullout: When thereâÂÂs lots of meat trimmings such as when we are prepping for a big BBQ cook, or the shells from cracked crab. We would do that no matter what trash containment we have in kitchen. But the times that we feel we need to worry about smell are few and far between.

Food scraps DO go in it, and it DOES NOT smell. If it did there is NO WAY I would tolerate it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:50AM
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We really liked ours, but don't have one currently (not enough space in the new kitchen to devote a cabinet to it, but we're near the garbage chute).

I'm curious though. I never heard that those clamshells were not recyclable. I always put them in recycling. In fact, I just checked the box of strawberries that's in my office, and it has the number "1" on the bottom, which according to greenlivingtips dot com is the easiest to recycle plastic.

"1 ��" PETE ��" Polyethylene Terephthalate

The easiest of plastics to recycle. Often used for soda bottles, water bottles and many common food packages. Is recycled into bottles and polyester fibers"

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:05PM
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I'm replacing our 15 year old Kitchenaid trash compactor with a new one. It still works fine but we're changing to stainless. I like having one and would probably put one in a new kitchen. Very convenient and I don't have a problem with smells but we take some stinky food trash to the outside trash can immediately. We also put junk mail flyers on top when compacting so it stays clean.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Sjhockeyfan, recyclability has a lot to do with your community's service. We didn't used to be able to put in 1s, now we can, but not 6s. We used to have to separate paper from the other stuff, now we can mix them.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Thanks, everyone! This is so very helpful! I am definitely going to be fitting a compactor in my new kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:30AM
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I've had a compactor for 11 years and I live alone. I can go 2 weeks without changing the it!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:42AM
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We've had them in the last three houses. It does help with not having to take out the trash as often. I don't put food stuffs in it for the most part unless it's getting close to time to put a new bag in. On the other hand I have a garbage disposal and also my garage with the garbage cans is right off the kitchen so that is a help. I don't like having to constantly go under the sink or have a can sitting out in the kitchen so that is why I'd probably do it again if we ever move. For me that was the main reason to get one (to keep the can out of sight). If it is a dedicated space for a trash can anyway, why not just get the compactor?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:56AM
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If it is a dedicated space for a trash can anyway, why not just get the compactor?

In my case, it's because in the same space, I have room for 2 35-gallon cans in a pullout, one for trash and the other for recycling.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:31PM
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