Trash Compactor Basics - How They Work


  • Trash container - located at the bottom of the unit.
  • Motor - located at the top or bottom of the unit.
  • Ram - located at the top of the unit is a flat piece of steel used to push the trash down.


  • When you put trash into the trash container, close the door, and press or turn the Start button, the motor starts. It rotates a set of reduction gears or a belt-and-pulley system that slowly lowers the ram.
  • The ram exerts tremendous pressure on the trash, which flattens it. When the ram pressure reaches its setpoint, the motor reverses and raises the ram back up to the top of the compactor.
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