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Trash Compactor Buying Guide

Trash Compactor Buying Guide

Trash compactors offer a simple and efficient way of reducing your garbage volume. Whether you are a high waste household or simply wanting to go green out of concern for the environment and landfill reduction, a home trash compactor may be the ideal waste management solution for you.

Many home trash compactors are similar in the basic features that they have to offer. Then you can narrow your selection by choosing the appropriate size for your kitchen, how much compacting force your household requires, and any additional safety features you may need.

Use our helpful trash compactor buying guide to refine your search for the best kitchen trash compactor.

Typical Trash Compacting Force Options

Trash Compactor Force Options
2000 lbs ram force 2300 lbs ram force 3000 lbs ram force 5000 lbs ram force

Main Features of Trash Compators

Feature Things to Consider
Location Options You can choose a free standing, convertible, or fully built in model based on your needs
Color Options Color choices include black, white, and stainless steel, or you can choose a custom outer panel such as wood or tile to help it blend more seamlessly with your current kitchen counters
Styling Trim kits can be purchased for custom panels, but remember to include them in your measurements when installing under counter models
Smooth Running Anti-jam and tilt sensors will keep the appliance operating smoothly
Noise Reduction Noise insulation helps your compactor operate more quietly
Odor Control Deodorizing and odor control systems are important, and you can even include air freshener and choose from a variety of fragrances
Convenience Removable drawers, toe pedal openers, and side release bins are just a few features that promote convenience of use

Other Trash Compactor Features to Consider

Trash Compactor Features
  • 1.4 to 1.55 cu. ft. capacity
  • 1/3, 1/2, or 3/4 horsepower motor
  • Hidden or fully visible controls
  • Easy to clean full console
  • Removable control pads or dials
  • Installation wheels
  • Tilt-away trash basket
  • Reversible panels
  • Storage compartment for plastic or paper trash compactor bags

Kitchen Trash Compactor

Types of Trash Compactors

There are a few basic types of trash compactors. Here is a quick thumbnail of what they are.

Measure Before Installing a Trash Compactor

Always measure your space before you buy and install a trash compactor. Here are a couple of key numbers to keep in mind when considering trash compactor sizes.

  • Standard Width - Home trash compactors can range from 12 to 15 inches wide. However, the most common width is 15 inches.
  • Standard Depth - The usual depth range is 24 to 24 1/2 inches, but 24 inches is the most common.
  • Standard Height - The normal height range is from 34 1/8 to 35 inches with 35 inches being very common.
Trash Compactor Sizes

Example trash compactor size diagram from the GE model UCG1680LSS

Trash Compactor Brands

Many major kitchen appliance brands make high-quality kitchen trash compactors. Here are a few.

GE Trash Compactors Whirlpool Trash Compactors Maytag trash Compactors

Keep These Suggestions in Mind for Safe Operation

Trash Compactor Safety
  • Some trash compactors include certain safety features, such as a safety interlock which prevents compaction when the door is open, or a removable key switch
  • Keep children away from trash compactors or consider buying a compactor with a child lock feature
  • Do not place poisonous, explosive or flammable chemicals or other forms of waste into trash compactor
  • Do not place items such as aerosol cans or glass into trash compactor
  • Make sure you are able to remove compacted trash before filling to capacity, because a full compactor can weigh up to 40-50 lbs

Shop Trash Compactors

This trash compactor buying guide helps you learn before you buy. After reading it, you are ready.