by Direct Compactor

What is an industrial trash compactor?


A trash compactor is simply a machine that compresses solid waste.

You drop trash into the opening (charge chamber) and a motorized hydraulic arm pushes the trash towards the back of the can (receiver box) effectively compacting all the material into a much smaller form.

Solid waste haulers make a large part of their income based on the number of times per month that they come to your location to empty the waste.  So, the more solid waste that gets squeezed into the same amount of space you are already utilizing, the more it allows you to save money. You won’t need your waste hauler to pick up your garbage, or recyclables, as often.

The amount of compression you get inside your can is called your compaction ration.  The higher the compaction ratio the more savings you can expect to receive.

What Impacts My Compaction Ratio?


Your compaction ratio is affected by several factors:

  • The type of motor and hydraulic system built into the packer will determine its power.
  • The type of solid waste being compacted will help determine compaction based on its density. Some materials have a lot of air in between the solid components.  For example, cardboard boxes or Styrofoam will generally have a much higher compaction ratio. The air can be pressed out allowing the material to be more tightly held.  However, some material is dense, like food waste, the compaction ratio is much smaller as the material has less compaction potential.
  • Weather can affect compaction. If the waste is frozen or rain soaked it won’t compact as easily.
  • The type of container on the compactor can make compaction easier as well. Steel thickness determines how much pressure the can will be able to withstand.  The shape can help compact material as well. The size determines the volume of waste.

What Compaction Ratio Can I Expect?


Everyone’s circumstances are unique.  The mix of trash, climate, and equipment will change for each organization.  However, there is a general rule for what you can expect.  The largest compaction equipment manufacturers state that their equipment will provide a 4 to 1 compaction ratio.  That means, if you would normally have your solid waste picked up 4 times a month you now only need it to be picked up once.  In other words, you would save 3 pick-ups for every 1 you have to pay for.

The easiest way to figure up the efficacy of a compactor is to look at how many pick-ups a week you get from your hauler and how much each pick up costs.  Weigh that against the compaction equipment that is right for your use case, and this provides your cost analysis.


You aren’t alone.  We can help as well.  Give Direct Compactor and Baler a call today! (817) 769-8340


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