What Is an Industrial Waste Compactor?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

An industrial waste compactor compresses waste to squeeze as much air out as possible, limiting the size of a load. This cuts waste processing costs, as industrial waste fees are often charged by volume, and decreases the number of pickups needed to collect garbage and recyclables from a facility. Compactors can vary in size and their technical specifications can be very broad, ranging from units designed for heavy-duty applications to more lighter equipment for crushing paper and other readily compressed materials. Rental units may be available for temporary use.

An industrial waste compactor compresses waste to squeeze out as much air as possible and thus, limit the size of the load.
An industrial waste compactor compresses waste to squeeze out as much air as possible and thus, limit the size of the load.

To use an industrial waste compactor, a technician feeds waste through a hopper until the chamber is full, and then activates the unit. Crushing arms push down to compact the waste as much as possible by crushing it together and squeezing out air. In a simple example, a container could be filled with shoe boxes that take up a lot of volume. The compactor squeezes them down to a more manageable size.

The finished waste can be bagged for transport to a landfill or recycling facility. By contrast, a facility might prefer to use a baler, which compacts waste and ties it off with wire or twine for transit. Companies looking into both options may consider the type of waste handled and what they ultimately do with it. An industrial waste compactor may be more suitable for some uses, while balers are appropriate for others.

For waste management companies, space is money, and compactors can reduce the volume of loads for the landfill. This increases efficiency and can allow the generation of cost savings to pass on to customers or use to keep prices as stable as possible. Using an industrial waste compactor also limits the number of trips to the landfill over time, freeing up drivers for other tasks. Especially if waste needs to be shipped to a remote location, compaction can save money on transport costs.

Individual companies can also use an industrial waste compactor. They may find the equipment useful for compacting waste before it is picked up, saving space and costs. Fewer pickups mean fewer bills, and the lower volume can create cost savings for the firm. Compaction can also help companies control waste, limiting the risk of litter as well as theft, because it is harder to pick through compacted and bagged garbage than loose waste. At companies where liability may be a concern due to injuries sustained by garbage pickers, waste compaction may be a good legal move.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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