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trash compactor

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so I'm a first time homebuyer moving in in 2 short weeks. And the place is is move in condition. one thing that bothers me, though, is the trash compactor. I didn't even know they made them anymore. I have no idea how to use one, what the dos and don'ts are, and I'm seriously considering removing it and putting something else (cabinet, bookshelf, recycling bins?) there.

any pros for keeping this would be appreciated as would any suggests at to what should replace it.

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    I would first check with City Hall or hopefully a kind neighbor that can fill you in if a Recycling Program is in effect. Also trash handling requirements. That info would better fill you in if the TC is worth messing with.

    I believe most TC have a "tag" fastened on a flat spot once the drawer is open, or at a kick-plate. Info can then be searched for an online ".pdf" Owners or Operators Manual.

    If it needs to be removed you probably would need a professional anyway as they are supposedly to be wired in.

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    1 Reply
    1. re: RShea78

      Using a trash compactor is not rocket science. Buy compactor bags (heavier-duty than regular trash bags). Place one into the receptable. Open compactor to put trash into the bag. When you have enough bulky stuff, turn the sucker on -- which should be pretty obvious If you need a user manual, you can probably find it on-line.

      Or meet a new neighbor by asking how the compactor works.

    2. my questions were more along the lines of....what can and can't go in there? do they smell? and are they worth having? Thanks for your responses so far.

      1 Reply
      1. re: eLizard

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        As a general rule any household or food related trash can go in one. However, they are not meant for items intended for bulk disposal , aerosol cans, environmentally hazardous items. Glass, I can somewhat question. It is generally fine for most machines and should break them. However, I am not for sure if you are comfortable in handling the broken glass or what your local rules on that is. Plastic beverage bottles might sound like a firecracker when they blow, if the cap is left on.

        Smell goes along with the territory even with normal trash disposal. Rinsing out food or beverage stuff, and allowing them to air dry, sure goes a long way in eliminating trash smells.

        Somethings that gets under my sister skin is things like- the ravioli can and lid, that doesn't get rinsed off -when her kids decide they need a snack. Major peeve!

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      2. I just put in "clean" trash. Things I can't recycle like waxed cartons, pizza boxes etc.
        I always rinse out things first if necessary. I also don't put in anything that would decay or smell.

        As mentioned do not put in aerosol cans or batteries for that matter.

        1. Thank you both for your helpful replies. Now the question is, do you like them? Or should I just go with an old fashioned garbage can?

          1 Reply
          1. re: eLizard

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            Well eLizard, TCs have their place in some situations. They work in some communities but not others, because of certain community trash pick up rules. Like ours requires a certain size of a plastic bag + a $1 City sticker, or as an option is a private pick up disposal service of which furnishes a 90 gallon refuse container or a dumpster. The City here will not pick up compacted trash, but the private service could care less.

            I would say no to the old fashioned garbage can, as those metal cans too noisy and eventually rusts, Those plastic ones such as those Rubbermaid Brute containers are far better.

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          2. eLizard, I used to have a TC. I loved the idea of it, but the reality was something else. Since there are only two of us in the house, trash sat longer than it would for a family, and as a result the smell was a HUGE issue. I thought it was just absurd to have to wash trash before I put it in the garbage! So I ended up putting a low trash can under the sink and using that instead of the TC. When we had our cabinets refinished several years ago, my husband took out the TC and modified the space and now we have a spot for a kitchen-size trash can, with a false front that looks like drawers. I am much happier now.

            1. -----

              I almost forgot something.

              Because our community ditched the necessity of the trash compactors, some residents removed theirs and set them up in the garage for other recycling (crushing) needs. For some families aluminum can recycling can be a cash job for some, like the kids in Scouts, or a general money maker for those inclined.

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              1. elizard, hard to answer your question. It really depends on how your trash is handled,

                I go to a transfer station that also has recycling.

                My TC is now broken. It is 28 years old, and when we first moved here they weren't doing recycling.

                We bought the part for the TC, but hubby hasn't been able to fix it. The part was about $250.00. So take that in mind.

                At this point I'm taking it out and will just put a nice looking container in its place.

                There are only two of us.

                Here's what I do.

                I have put about 6 stackable recycling bins in my garage.

                I also have a large trash bin for all regular garbage. It is a 44 gal rubber unit that uses trash bags. I have to put a bag tag on when throwing it out at the transfer station.

                I have a small garbage bag ( I use the grocery bags from the stores) in the kitchen that go down to that. Right now I'm using a large birdseed bag for other diposables! For the most part I use canvas bags when grocery shopping, but at places like Walmart I don't.

                So it just depends on how your city/town handles waste.

                If you live where you do a lokt of recycling, I would say use theTC space for any of the ways you mentioned.

                I hope this is at least a bit helpful.

                Probably far more than you ever wanted to know about by trash!

                By the way, congratulation on your new home.

                1. I will be garageless in the city of boston with curb side trash and recycling pick up once a week. there are only two of us and the smell concerns me. looks like that could be a real issue. thanks so much for everyone's replies.