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How does a trash compactor work? It's simple really. The trash compactor uses a motor to push your trash together, making a denser mass of trash that has less volume and takes up less room in the landfill. Think of the trash compactor scene in Star Wars and you'll get the picture.
Trash compactors today have come a long way from their 1980s ancestors. Most trash compactors on today's market have noise reduction features and special safety enhancements that reduce the hazard inherent in a machine that crushes and grinds. No more mangled limbs.
Inside the trash compactor is a pressing device and a motor. The crushing power of your compactor will depend on the power of your motor. Trash compactors usually come with motors equipped to handle 2,000, 2,300 or 5,000 pounds of ram force. How much you will need depends on the volume of trash that you generate and how much you can afford. Few households need the maximum power, and most will be well serviced by 2,300 pounds of ram force.
The motor pushes the pressing foot into the mound of trash that you have added to the trash compactor. The pressing foot will reduce the trash down to size within the body of the device. Special trash compactor bags, which are designed to withstand the force of the trash compactor, keep liquid from escaping the device. Otherwise, you would have a fairly massive mess on your hands. Trash compactor bags cost more than regular trash bags, but they are well worth the extra cash.
Once your trash has been compacted, you are ready to add more trash to the compactor. Most trash compactor models will alert you when the trash compactor has become full, at which point you can remove the bag and take it to the trash. Your garbage will have a lower volume, which means fewer trips outside and less space wasted in the landfill.