What is a Compactor?
A compactor is exactly what it sounds like – a machine used to minimize waste and space through the process of compaction. A compactor is usually a large, rectangular machine powered by hydraulics; though it can take many shapes and sizes depending on the recycling application.
Probably the most well-known example of a compactor is car compactor, the one used for crushing cars. It can take the form of a pancake-flat plate crushing the car directly from above or a more common type of baling compactor that smashes it from four sides, creating a type of ‘rectangle.’ Even a large bulldozer that crushes waste material beneath its wheels could be considered compactors.
Types of Compactors and Industry-wide Applications
Hydraulic and manual trash compactors are designed for residential use. They efficiently reduce the volume of household waste including polystyrene.
In the commercial arena, commercial trash compactors are used frequently by retail and service industries, which usually have large amounts of refuse, much of which is non-recyclable. In that case, compacting the waste materials greatly decreases the space needed in landfills and similar areas.
The most popular compactor types for commercial use fall under the following three categories:
- Secured Indoor Chute
These compactors are constructed from welded steel for lasting durability under pressure and exposure to environmental hazards when installed outdoors.
- Energy and Recycling
Baler-wrapper compactors enable higher rates of recycling which is why they are typically used for storage and transportation of bin waste, saw dust, and compost in recycling businesses. These compactors also find application in the energy sector for compacting materials and refuse derived fuel.
The construction industry employs three different types of compactors: the plate, the road roller and the jumping jack.
- The plate compactor is fitted with a vibrating baseplate that is used for leveling surfaces.
- The road roller is used for compacting crushed rock which is used in the foundation layer that is placed beneath concrete and stone slabs.
- The jumping jack is mainly used for compacting the backfill in narrow trenches that are used for supplying gas and water.
The agricultural compactor is also known as baler-wrapper and it used as a means to store and preserve forage by excluding oxygen from it. The forage is then wrapped in an airtight film so that it remains fresher for longer.
These compactors are used for compacting landfill waste and refuse vehicles. The trash compactors employed by municipalities can also be solar-powered and have the capacity to hold 200 gallons of trash before they are emptied.
Advantages of Using Compactors
Different types of compactors are used for processing different materials that cannot be recycled. These compactors can greatly reduce the volume of garbage making it much easier and cost-effective to handle and transport waste. Commercial compactors not only reduce the number of hauling rounds but also bring down the operational costs for processing most metals and hard plastics. For all of these reasons, they make an ideal solution for manufacturing facilities, production plants, medical facilities, retail chains, restaurants, and hotels. Certain advanced models even offer features that prevent leaks and odors while eliminating the need of haulers for disposing of waste.