Portable Trash Compactor Overview
Trash compactors are an important, but often overlooked, factor when running a business. They are used to reduce the size of garbage through flattening it using a metal compaction ram. This is important for cutting costs for waste management, as every home and place on the planet produces large amounts of waste.
Here are the best portable trash compactors:
1. Best Overall: Gladiator 15 in. Freestanding Trash Compactor in Hammered Granite
Gladiator GACP15XXMG Compactor Review
The Gold Standard of Trash Compactors: The Gladiator Freestanding trash compactor features casters that allow for portability. This compactor can also be opened with a built-in foot pedal for convenient hands-free opening when you plan to load it with full hands. This feature mimics kitchen trash cans that also incorporate foot-pedal opening mechanisms.
Another feature included with this compact is the safety removable “key knob” that locks the unit when not in use. This removable knob is meant to be stored away out of reach of children to prevent misuse. These features shape up the Gladiator Freestanding compactor to be a solid one, but Gladiator takes it a step further by including an automatic anti-jam feature that detects whether the compactor door is open or not. If the door is detected to be open during compaction, the compactor automatically stops and reverses the compression ram to prevent jamming of the unit.
This trash compactor operates at a rather low compaction ratio. While it is by no means low, the Gladiator Freestanding unit is probably not as suitable for large-scale compaction jobs, such as for restaurants, as opposed to some of its competitors on this list that feature much higher compaction ratios and are intended for more heavy-duty use.
Also, this compactor has rather limited storage capacity, being able to store a volume of only 1.4 cubic feet of trash. This storage space will still serve your garbage compaction needs but its interior space is not nearly as roomy as other larger compactors.
Capacity: 1.4 cubic feet
Compaction Ratio: 4 to 1
Motor Strength: 1/3 HP
Weight: 158 lbs
Dimensions: 24”L x 15”W x 38”H
- Included optional casters for easier portability
- Built-in foot pedal for convenient hands-free opening
- 2,200 lbs of compression force per square inch
- Key knob safety feature. Can be removed to prevent children from using it
- Automatic anti-jam reverses compression ram if door is open while in use to prevent jamming
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- Mild compaction ratio suggests that this trash compactor is not intended for heavy-duty garbage compacting
- Limited storage capacity
Original Retail 679.00
Brand Gladiator Garageworks
2. Best for Home Use: Whirlpool GC900QPPB Convertible Trash Compactor - Black, White or Stainless Steel
Whirlpool GC900QPPB Compactor Review
A Sleek, Quiet Competitor: The Whirlpool Convertible trash compactor offers numerous similar specifications to the Gladiator Freestanding unit, but with several perks that make it a worthy competitor. First, you’ll notice the Whirlpool Convertible has a sleeker design and aesthetically-pleasing black finish.
The Whirlpool also utilizes “Quiet Pack” sound technology common among appliances that reduce operation noise. This is a great feature for buyers looking for a quiet innovation from the Gladiator Freestanding compactor. The Whirlpool also comes with heavy-duty trash bags and clips that will hold your trash bags in place to prevent them from slipping. This is much more useful than simply storing your bags into other trash compactors that don’t offer this support utility.
While the Whirlpool Convertible is considerably more expensive than the Gladiator Freestanding trash compactor, it offers very similar specs and features. While this particular compactor offers some advantages and additional features over the Gladiator, the large price jump makes the Whirlpool an arguably unsavory option for buyers adhering to a strict budget to consider.
With this in mind, the Whirlpool still offers some great features that the Gladiator otherwise lacks. These features include a comprehensive touch-pad control, sound-reducing technology, a sleeker design, and the inclusion of heavy-duty trash bags with clips.
Capacity: 1.4 cubic feet
Compaction Ratio: 4 to 1
Motor Strength: 1/3 HP
Weight: 145 lbs
Dimensions: 24.38” L x 15” W x 34.1” H
- Clean and easy-to-use touch controls
- “Quiet Pack” sound reduction technology for quiet operation noise
- Sleek design and black finish
- Easy Rollers casters included for portability
- Removable key knob safety feature
- Automatic anti-jam function
- Includes heavy-duty trash bags with bag securing clips
- Touch-toe pedal for convenient opening
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Significantly more expensive option with similar specs and a few advantages leveraged against the Gladiator compactor. Careful evaluation would be required to determine if the large price difference and the extra features offered by the Whirlpool Convertible is suited for you
- Like the Gladiator, this unit has limited storage capacity and a moderate compaction ratio
3. Best Heavy Duty: Global Trash Solutions GTS1500 Indoor Commercial Trash Compactor
Where to buy:
GTS1500 Commercial Compactor Review
The Industrial Hulk: Designed for large-scale businesses, the GTS1500 Indoor Commercial compactor is intended for commercial use, just as its name implies. As a national vendor partner responsible for pick-up and rebate of junk materials, Global Trash Solutions understands the struggle for cost-efficient industrial waste management. The GTS1500 compactor is their answer to the issue of costly garbage compaction.
This compactor delivers a powerful, efficient performance intended to use its effectiveness to save you costs in labor and materials used in your business, so much so that it will pay for itself over time as you continuously save in costs through its waste management benefits. So what does it offer? A hefty compaction ratio that allows the GTS1500 to compact seven trash bags into one. Constructed from an incredibly durable steel frame reinforced with the high-strength and lightweight material Kevlar, the GTS1500 is sure to stand the test against time.
This Kevlar-based coating also works to prevent rusting and chemical damage. In addition, the unit has a Program Logic Controls function that acts as a Sign-In security system, requiring a passcode for authorized user access. In order to ensure the GTS1500’s specifications match your needs, Global Trash Solutions allows you to set the unit’s compaction pressure upon purchase to reflect your compacting needs. This ensures that your GTS1500 will arrive customized to what your business requires, no more and no less.
Our only complaints are that the compactor’s hulky size and lack of sound insulation. We believe these are two factors to consider for a trash compactor intended for indoor use. Standing over six feet tall, the GTS1500 will be able to fit in many indoor commercial complexes, but it certainly will require some pre-planning to ensure that it will fit into your place of business, particularly in cramped quarters packed with equally important appliances.
The lack of sound reduction is another issue we foresee with the unit, as it is marketed as an indoor appliance. It is unspecified whether the Program Logic Control will work in rainy conditions, so it’s difficult to determine whether this compactor can be used outdoors despite its identification as an indoor machine.
Compaction Ratio: 7 to 1
Motor Strength: 1 HP
Weight: 800 lbs
Dimensions: 76.375” tall and 29.25” deep
Price: $7,995.00 from Global Trash Solutions (financing options available)
- Built-in Program Logic Controller security feature
- Kevlar-based coating for a strong degree of durability
- Compaction pressure customized upon purchase, meeting the needs of each individual client
- Powerful unit with a high compaction ratio and a strong motor, suitable for large-scale businesses with extensive garbage output such as restaurants, hotels, schools, factories, retail stores, etc.
- Global Trash Solutions offers instructions for installation and operation training on Skype or on-site to ensure successful setup and that clients are fully equipped to operate their GTS1500
- Full parts and labor 1-year warranty
- Large size requires ample space to store the unit in, unfortunately limiting the unit’s portability
- Lack of sound insulation, particularly for this unit that is intended for indoor use
Brand Global Trash Solutions
4. Best for Commercial Use: WasteCare Corporation Commercial Compactors
Where to buy:
WasteCare Commercial Compactors Review
Provided by WasteCare Corporation, waste management solutions company dedicated to offering business owners unbeatable waste regulating appliances that require as few business resources as possible. Their Commercial Compactors are intended for commercial establishments such as hospitals, schools, restaurants, resorts, ships, etc. WasteCare Corporation created these compactors with the mindset of packing in abundant operating power in order to minimize the frequency of garbage-hauling, thereby cutting housekeeping costs.
These compactors are intended to save you costs on storing, compacting, and disposing of garbage to allow you to allocate your business funds in other sectors of your business. Each of these compactors have roomy storage capacity, strong motors rated from 3/4 – 1 horsepower, and three different compactor sizes to allow for scaling performance with size. Each compactor is UL Listed, meaning they meet certain standards for safety and have been evaluated to demonstrate features such as energy efficiency and functional safety.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any bells and whistles with this set of compactors that we have been discussing with other trash compactors on this list. This is made up by their high compaction ratio potential and fast cycle times, saving you precious time and money. These compactors are also lightweight, meaning that they stay true to being portable compactors, even more so than some of its heavier competitors on this list.
Capacity: Small – 3.3 cubic feet, Medium – 6 cubic feet, Large – 9 cubic feet
Compaction Ratio: Unspecified; varies up to 25 to 1
Motor Strength: Small – 3/4 HP, Medium – 2 HP, Large – 2 HP
Weight: Small – 675 lbs, Medium – 1,000 lbs, Large – 1,300 lbs
Dimensions: Small – 25”L x 23”W x 71”H, Medium – 30”L x 28”W x 78”H, Large – 78”L x 40”W x 78”H
Price: Requires quote from WasteCare Corporation
- Available in three sizes to choose from: Small, Medium, and Large
- Each compactor is UL Listed and meets established standards for industrial appliances
- Fast cycle times ranging from 16-25 seconds
- Lightweight units, even the Large size compactor, allow for more portability than its heavier competitors
- No glamorous features like its competitors that have foot pedals, touch screens, and security systems
Model Small, Medium, Large
Brand WasteCare Corporation
SKU Small, Medium, Large
5. Best Pail & Can Crusher: Newstripe Big Squeeze™ Pail & Can Crusher 10001655
Where to buy:
Newstripe Pail & Can Crusher Review
The Big Squeeze Pail & Can Crusher from Newstripe is intended for compacting larger cans predominantly used in the automotive industry. Cans, paint canisters, and metal containers are all examples of items that the Big Squeeze will compact. These crushed items can then be recycled or used as scrap metal.
Constructed with industrial-grade, durable steel and using a strong crusher that exerts 13,000 pounds of force, this compactor is the perfect choice for automotive shops and industries that regularly need large amounts of cans and oil filters compacted. Also included is the classic safety feature that halts operation when the door is open. A unique feature tailored to this is the outlet drain beneath the base of the Big Squeeze that collects liquid waste from your crushed cans. This is a great feature considering there will always be some excess liquid left in fuel canisters that you want crushed.
As far as cans and metal containers go, this compactor is great, but it is not diversified across all types of garbage and industrial waste, giving it limited use beyond crushing oil cans. Its departure from standard compactors means that it cannot compact other forms of common garbage that you may have.
Dimensions: 21”L x 22”W x 44”H
Price: $3,879.00 – $4,325.00 from Global Industrial (financing options available)
- Perfect choice for crushing automotive oil filters and other large cans
- Unit will stop if door is opened during operation for safety
- Outlet drain located at the base of the compactor that collects liquid waste and can be emptied when necessary
- Constructed from industrial-grade components and steel for durable use
- Compacts using a crusher at 13,000 lbs of force
- 3-Year Limited Warranty
- Limited usage. Compacts cans and liquid containers, but does not work with other types of garbage such as glass
Portable Trash Compactor Buying Guide
What is a trash compactor?
A trash compactor is a machine that you feed large amounts of trash into in order to decrease the impact of your waste on landfills by compacting the trash into smaller sizes. Trash you place inside the trash compactor is flattened and compressed with a metal ram into small and manageable chunks.
These chunks are stored into trash bags and are then disposed off. A trash compactor consists of only a few parts: the metal ram that compresses the garbage, the bin that stores the garbage you don’t need, and the on/off switch that toggles the compactor’s operation on and off.
Trash compactors are rather simple to operate. Users open the door to access the bin, where garbage is stored. Bottles and cans should be fed into the bin before other types of trash and should be placed sideways. When compacting, ensure that larger items are placed in the middle of the trash receptacle. Trash compactors have sensors in place to alert you if they are being incorrectly loaded or operated. When the compactor is full, you can close the door and activate the switch to begin compressing.
So how can we quantify the compaction power of a trash compactor on the market? The key is compaction ratio, Compaction ratio is the ratio of loose trash to compacted trash. It’s the measure of how efficiently your trash compactor can compact trash. For example, a higher compaction ratio of, say 25 to 1, is ideal because it means your unit can compact more trash, in this case, from 25 cubic feet into 1 cubic foot.
In contrast, a lower compaction ratio of, for example, 2 to 1 indicates that your unit can only compact 2 cubic feet into 1 cubic foot, clearly compacting trash much less efficiently than the unit with a 25 to 1 compaction ratio. Essentially, compaction ratio determines how much trash your unit is able to efficiently compact, with a larger ratio being preferred as it indicates the trash compactor can successfully compact higher volumes of garbage than compactors with lower compaction ratios.
One less important factor to look out for when shopping for the right trash compactor is its storage capacity, which is how much trash you can fit into the bin of your trash compactor. As you might expect, trash compactors with more storage space are preferred because they can store more trash in them at a time.
Casters or Wheels
Casters are something to look out for in portable trash compactors. They are a big plus because these are “portable trash compactors” after all. Casters are a set of wheels that can fixed to the bottom of your trash compactor for easy movement from one place to another, trash compactors positioned on casters can simply be pushed around on wheels so that you can re-position them in various places around your area of work.
What You Need to Know About Trash Compactors
With the pandemic keeping everyone at home, trash was one of the first things to start piling up. Instead of using more and more trash bags, trash compactors are a great solution that allow you to be environmentally friendly and reduce waste. If you are considering a trash compactor, here are some of the most commonly asked questions:
Are trash compactors worth it?
Trash compactors do just like the name suggests: compact your trash. They decrease the amount of volume that your trash takes up which means you use less trash bags, take up less space at landfills, and ultimately help the environment. They’re also great for saving space in your home since you don’t need a huge bulky trash can.
Do they still make trash compactors?
Trash compactors are still in use today, and modern technology have made them even better than before. Today’s trash compactors can deal with bad smells, handle more trash, and even deal with wet waste.
Do you need special bags for trash compactor?
Trash compactor bags are specifically designed to handle the pressure that the compactor generates. If you have a trash compactor, it is recommended you use compactor bags so you don’t run the risk of having the bag rip.
Can you put food in a trash compactor?
In most instance, you can put things in the trash compactor that you would put in the trash can. This includes food. There are a few things to avoid, however, such as flammable items (spray cans especially), liquids, or glass.
How long does a trash compactor last?
Modern day trash compactors are built for longevity. Today’s compactors will last you for years if used properly.
Who makes the best trash compactor?
There are a lot of manufacturers out there, but you are in good hands sticking with many of the “big name” kitchen appliance brands. Whirlpool and KitchenAid both make fantastic trash compactors in a variety of styles.
How much does a trash compactor cost?
The cost of a trash compactor depends on its size, whether it is made to be inserted into a cabinet, and the brand. On average a trash compactor will cost around $1000, but there are cheaper options such as Gladiator’s freestanding option for $600.
Is a trash compactor the same as a garbage disposal?
Trash compactors and garbage disposals are different. A garbage disposal is a made to get rid of food waste (and is typically in the sink) while a trash compactor squishes your trash to use less space.
Can you put glass in a trash compactor?
You should not put glass into a trash compactor. With enough pressure, the glass will break and can damage the unit or cause tears in the trash compactor bag.
What are the benefits of a trash compactor?
Trash compactors have many benefits. They look great in homes (unlike ordinary trash cans), they reduce the amount of waste you produce, require fewer trash bags, and help the environment.
How does a residential trash compactor work?
A trash compactor works by calculating the volume of trash inside the unit. When it’s about half full, the compactor squeezes the trash down so that it takes up less space. They also have odor protectants, so your home doesn’t smell like trash.
How many gallons is a trash compactor?
The size of your trash compactor will vary, but the average size is about 25 gallons and larger models going up to approximately 50 gallons.