Home-made trash compactor

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by devittjl, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. devittjl

    devittjl Well-Known Member

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    Hi all!
    Does anyone have some ideas or plans for a home made trash compactor?

    What I am thinking of is a hydraulic (water from the hose) compactor made of pcv pipe. I would put my 32 gallon trash can under it, turn on the water and it would push a cylinder with a plate attached to it down, I saw something like this at a summer camp I worked at many years ago.

    The main problem I have right now is how to make my own cylinder.
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Can you check with the place you seen it to find out how it was made. You would have a hard time holding water pressure in a home made cylinder. You might do like we do, that's use your foot for the compactor.
     

  3. RAC

    RAC Guest

    We just used the kids ;-)
     
  4. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    John -

    You'd need to have a relatively large piston if you're working with water pressure. I'd guess maybe six inches or so. At six inches diameter, you will have 28.26 square inches of surface area on the piston. Assuming you have 40 PSI water pressure, that equates to a force of 1130 pounds down on your trash, which should do the trick.

    I would question the usefulness of such a device. You will need to fabricate a frame that is able to:
    • contain the 1130 pounds of force acting upwards on the back of the cylinder (you know, the whole action/reaction thing)
    • be able to keep your "compactor plate" straight and level, even if you have your trash off-center in this press
    • drain off the water out of your cylinder somewhere when you are finished crushing your trash

    I'm just curious why you need to compact your trash.
    Why not use your foot as Uncle Will suggests?
    If you want to use some sort of tool, get a 3-foot long chunk of log maybe around 4-5" diameter and stomp your junk down with it.
    Can you be more diligent as you're filling your bag to push stuff down?
    Or reduce the volume of stuff you throw out?

    John
     
  5. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Well, I can think of one good reason for a compactor--in many areas, if you choose to have trash pick-up, or it is mandatory in your area (as a steady tax revenue source), they are going to these awful cans that are wide at the top and VERY narrow at the bottom (so they can fit on the lift--all the trash person does is wheel them on and wheel them off--no real lifting to speak of).

    They are supposedly the same as your "normal" 32-gallon trashcans, but realistically speaking, unless you compact your trash, you are getting shorted big time for what you're paying for the service, because some bigger things just don't fit like they used to.
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever tried to lift a bale of compacted trash? It gets smaller but not lighter.
     
  7. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Time out on that idea. PVC is not capeable of holding too much pressure, you may be building a bomb.
     
  8. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    How about attaching a long lever to a pole or post.

    From the pivot point of the lever go about two feet out and attach a rod with a plate attached, which will compact the trash.

    Place the trash can under the tamper plate, reach up and pul the lever down to where it nearly touches the ground. The length of the lever will determine the pressure applied to the trash.


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    I don't know if that will illustrate enough or not. Pivot the foot/tamp plate.
     
  9. pvc will hold all the pressure any hose can give it although it is not safe to use air pressure in pvc. Pvc is clearly labeled as to operating psi and should not burst unless it get at least 2-3 times that. I also see little need for compacting trash and if you do need to i doubt you could build anything near as good as comercial compactors at anywhere near the price try looking for some fully functional used or cosmeticly challenged units. What are new ones worth 300 max? to reduce waste recycle more and put all organics in a compost heap. glass metal and plastic paper can all go to recycle bins. check with the local scrap iron lots some alow free dumping of sorted glass tin cans and plastic. most will even pay for tin cans and aluminum cans. If all else fails you could always stick a load of trash under your pickup every time you pull out of the drive.
     
  10. I see used ones in the thrift stores sometimes. Remodelling contractors might be able to turn you on to one as well.
     
  11. we have those kinds of trash cans and believe me, we get our money's worth out of them. we'll have junk piled three feet over the top of the top. you can also put more garbage in your can if you just bring the bag to it then dump it out in it, it'll also save bags.
     
  12. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    I used lanscape timbers to side border a 3/4 inch plywood sheet on 3 sides . Then I pour in my aluminum cans or my non worm bin consumable trash and lay another sheet of plywood over it. After driving my S 10 blazer through it a few times, I remove the cover sheet and scoop shovel the compacted material either into my recycle bin or trash pick up cart.
     
  13. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Most of the places that have the new cans now will NOT let you fill past the top--they'll charge extra if you overfill. That's why it's extra important to precycle, recycle, and compost, as well as filling the can as much as you can.

    Also, many dumps charge by both volume and weight, so they get you either way.....
     
  14. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    hmm, I got a Trash Incenrater at my place, scoop out the ashes once a year.

    How about somehow using a log splitter?
     
  15. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Well, I get rid of my trash once a week at the car wash. I spend $1.50 to $3 a week, and leave them my little bag of trash in their bin. :p
     
  16. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Where I live it is illegal to deposit ones trash in any one elses trash container.
     
  17. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    I compost all that I can and so a one week collection of garbage might be a 5 gal. bag at the most. At the car wash, you can get rid of the junk you have in your car: coffee cups, papers, etc. Soooo, I leave them a little extra. So I'm cheap. :p
     
  18. RAC

    RAC Guest

    I have seen small businesses in some small towns that will let you dump a bag of trash for $3 or so in their bin.

    The other thing is to reuse containers--where we live, they don't recycle cottage cheese, yogurt, or sour cream containers, so we try to reuse them by sending them in the lunchboxes with the kids.
     
  19. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    :haha: