Information On Commercial Trash Compactors

Does your business generate so much waste that your dumpsters are always full and you are looking for a better trash handling solution? Perhaps you are thinking about purchasing a commercial trash compactor but aren’t sure if that is the right decision for you. If you do purchase one, you may be wondering what type of compactor is best for your business, where you would put it, how you would install it and what you would do about servicing it. After all, you want to make sure that you get a good return on your investment.

How Does a Commercial Trash Compactor Work?

In some ways, commercial trash compactors are similar to residential trash compactors. After all, they both compact trash. The difference, though, is that commercial trash compactors are much larger and are designed for heavy commercial and industrial use. Most commercial trash compactors use a hydraulically controlled ram to compact the trash into an attached metal container that can be emptied on site or taken to the landfill. Some compactors, though, depend on other techniques to compact trash, such as screw-driven augers and pre-crushers.

What Are the Different Types of Commercial Trash Compactors?

There is a large variety of commercial trash compactors. Here are four of the most common types:

1. Stationary Commercial Trash Compactors

Stationary commercial trash compactors are designed to remain in place and are often bolted to the ground. They compact trash into an attached container that can be separated from the body of the compactor and transported to the landfill. The advantage of this type of compactor is that the separate container holding the compacted trash is much smaller and lighter than the entire unit, which results in reduced transportation costs. Stationary trash compactors are typically used for bulky, dry waste products like paper, cardboard, wood, plastic and textiles where there is little to no chance of a liquid spill. Typical businesses that use stationary compactors include manufacturing facilities, warehouses and department stores.

2. Self-Contained Commercial Trash Compactors

Unlike stationary trash compactors, self-contained compactors consist of one integrated unit. They are designed for trash that contains some amount of liquid. To empty a self-contained compactor, the integrated body and trash container are transported as one unit to the landfill. This reduces the chance of a spill. Self-contained trash compactors are typically used for household trash, medical waste and waste from food processing facilities. They are often situated so that they can be loaded from inside a building. One disadvantage to self-contained trash compactors is that a special type of truck is required for transporting the unit. 

3. Vertical Commercial Trash Compactors

Vertical commercial trash compactors are ideal for businesses that have limited space and a relatively small amount of trash. They have a smaller footprint than stationary and self-contained models. They are also useful in areas that have limited equipment designed to handle larger compactors. Most vertical trash compactors use a trash bag or plastic liner, which makes them suitable for both dry and wet waste. They are also ideal for recycling. Vertical trash compactors are typically loaded from the front and are used in fast foods, restaurants, schools, hospitals, shopping centers and nursing homes.

4. Chute Fed Commercial Trash Compactors

Chute fed commercial trash compactors are used in extremely tight locations like high rise buildings, resorts and hospitals. They are able to handle both dry and wet waste materials. Waste products are fed into the compactor through a chute hopper and are automatically compacted when the chamber fills to a preset level. A ram in the chamber then compacts the trash into a separate roll-away container that can be placed in an accessible location or rolled out to the curb. 

What Are the Benefits of a Commercial Trash Compactor?

Commercial trash compactors have many benefits. Here are 10 of them:

1. Less Trash Volume

A commercial trash compactor will significantly reduce the volume of trash that you must handle. Instead of having multiple containers of trash sitting around your place of business, you can handle all of your trash with one commercial unit. 

2. Fewer Landfill Trips

By converting from dumpsters to commercial trash compactors, you will drastically reduce the number of landfill trips required. This will save you both time and transportation costs. It will also reduce your labor costs.

3. Smaller Footprint

Trash containers and dumpsters take up a lot of valuable space. You can reduce the amount of real estate required by converting from dumpsters to commercial trash compactors. That way, you will free up space for more profitable ventures.

4. Increased Sustainability

Compacted trash takes up less space around your premises and in a landfill. By compacting your trash, your business will become more environmentally friendly and more sustainable.

5. Ease of Use

Commercial trash compactors are easy to use. They do not require skilled labor. Most compactors are easy to load, and the push of a button activates them. Almost any employee can use them with little training.

6. Reduced Fire Hazard

Open containers of trash and dumpsters are susceptible to fires. A cigarette butt or match can easily start a fire, and the wind can fan it. Commercial trash compactors, though, have a lower fire risk because the compacted trash is in a closed container.

7. Better Odor Control

Unpleasant odors are also less likely with commercial trash compactors than with open containers and dumpsters. Again, this is because the compacted trash is in a closed container.

8. Reduced Labor Costs

You also may be able to reduce labor costs by having employees take trash directly to the compactor rather than collecting it in containers and then taking it to a trash compactor.

9. Better Pest Control

Exposed trash is an open invitation to mice, rats and other vermin, especially if it contains food products. Many commercial trash compactors have a sealed container that makes it much harder for vermin to enter.

10. More Attractive Appearance

Commercial businesses that accumulate a lot of trash and leave it stacked around their premises present an unfavorable public image. A commercial trash compactor provides a much neater operation and can greatly improve the appearance of your business.

What Items Should Be Put into a Commercial Trash Compactor?

While it depends on the particular type of trash compactor that you use, there are certain products that are typically safe to put into a commercial trash compactor. Here is a brief list:

  • Bottles
  • Cans
  • Cardboard
  • Metal
  • Paper
  • Plastic containers

What Items Should Not Be Put into a Commercial Trash Compactor?

Due to safety issues and health concerns, the following items should not be put into a commercial trash compactor:

  • Batteries
  • Chemicals
  • Explosives
  • Flammable materials
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Paint


Commercial trash compactors have many advantages over dumpsters. They significantly reduce the amount of trash that must be handled and lower your hauling costs. Odor is easier to manage, and fire risks are reduced. There are several types of trash compactors, including stationary and self-contained models. If you want to know more about how you can benefit from a commercial trash compactor, contact us today, and we will be happy to assist you in finding a customized solution that will fit your particular needs.