Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Do People Still Use Trash Compactors?

Prior to the Industrial Revolution and into the 19th century there was very little trash in America. People found a way to reuse almost every scrap of waste. That changed when manufacturers began packaging goods to attract consumers. It wasn't long before “taking out the trash” became a chore no one was fond of doing.

man using industrial trash compactor
The invention of the trash compactor was a combination of several machines. One may say M.S. Wells started the trend in 1941 when he invented a machine used to crush oil cans. Two employees of the manufacturer Compackager designed machines more suitable for home and office use.

Commercial trash compactors became an instant hit after their introduction. They are still frequently used by restaurants, hotels, medical facilities and other businesses that produce large amounts of waste.

As with many appliances, the first compactors introduced for home use were considered a novelty. They were expensive and mostly available to the rich. They were bulky, noisy and smelly. Not great selling points.

Today, compactors are smaller, create less noise and have filters to reduce unpleasant odors. A user offers a handy hint to place a newspaper over the trash before compacting. This reduces the “yucky factor” and minimizes cleaning after use. Machines are available as free standing or built in units. Compactors are easy to use and do not require any special installation. Simply plug it in and you are ready to compact. Safety features prevent accidental injuries. A modern machine is capable of reducing up to six traditional kitchen garbage bags into one 30 pound bag. It is important to note that compactors do not replace garbage disposals and should not be used for organic materials.

Some environmentalists claim that compactors are not green. However, many proponents also use compactors for recyclable waste. Some may argue this could encourage increased recycling. It is estimated that if every American family used a compactor landfill space could be reduced as much as 80 percent.

Trash compactors continue to be a popular kitchen appliance and readily available in most home improvement stores. Research is essential prior to purchase to determine which machine best meets your aesthetic and physical needs.

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