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How to Manage Kitchen Waste & Garbage Disposals Versus Trash Compactors

Options for Reducing Household Trash


There are several ways to reduce the amount of trash that goes to the landfill site. The most practical and budget-minded of course, is to compost vegetable and other food matter and use the rich compound to boost your flower or garden plot soil. This is a simple recycling effort that pays off in way of a better garden harvest.
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Another common method that requires only time, is recycling basically anything that can be re-used, re-worked or donated. These methods are great green initiatives that have large environmental benefits and they will help to reduce your overall curb trash.
Recycling Made Easy - How to Get Started
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However, though these endeavors are worthwhile and should be undertaken, they can be combined with the use of garbage reducing appliances, which will maximize your trash reducing efforts. When you can eliminate several garbage bags a month from going to your curb for pick up, you'll save on bag fees if these apply and you'll also save the time, effort and annoyance of taking out lots of trash bags.

There are two appliance options for reducing household trash - installing either a garbage disposal unit or a trash compactor. Though they are often referred to by similar names, they are two totally different appliances with their own distinct operating functions.

Garbage Food Disposal

Also called a food waste disposer but more commonly known as a garbage disposal unit, this small grinding system works unnoticed under-the-sink to crush meat bones, vegetable matter or other foods that go down the drain. A garbage disposal requires a connection to your kitchen drain as well as an electrical hook-up. Prices vary from $100 up, with the most popular residential models being in the $200 - $300 range. However, due to the nature of the installation required, there are several things to consider when buying a food waste disposer.
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Trash Compactor

More commonly known as trash or garbage compactors, these larger appliances are available in free-standing units but are usually installed under the kitchen counter, close to the sink area. Depending on the style, a trash compactor also requires a certain amount of installation and an electrical outlet.

Trash compactors are more expensive than food disposers, but have the most impact on reducing trash overall. Depending on their design, they can compact to a bag ratio of 4:1 or even up to 6:1. That means that with a larger unit, you can compact six bags worth of trash into one take-to-the-curb bag. However, the compacted bag will be that much heavier than a normal garbage bag, which may be a consideration for some.
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Garbage Disposer Versus Trash Compactor

Either of these appliances will help to reduce your household trash, with the compactor being the most efficient when it comes to eliminating a larger amount of garbage bags. Since the two appliances have different functions, wide price differences and unique installation requirements, choosing between either will probably first depend on your available budget, then installation and finally on your need to reduce trash quantities.

It's not uncommon to install and combine the use of both a trash compactor and food waste disposal to better manage household waste. While some prefer to have both units conveniently located in the kitchen, others like to have a disposer in the kitchen with a freestanding trash compactor in the garage mainly for crushing cans, glass and other waste. Either appliance will help you to manage your waste, reduce landfill garbage overall and compliment your other green initiatives.

Learn More About Waste Management:

Waste, Recycling Tips & Resources
Recycling Made Easy
Learn more about going green from About's Guide to Green Living
Learn more from composting from About's Guide to Organic Gardening

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