Trash Compactor vs. Garbage Disposal

As long as humans live, you expect to produce waste. Household waste can be a mess if not handled right. Thankfully, there are many methods to discard waste.

The trash compactor and garbage disposal are the best options to use when you are trying to reduce household waste.

Trash Compactor Vs. Garbage Disposal

Most people can’t tell the difference between the two. So, today we focus more on the garbage disposal and the trash compactor and the differences that come with it.

Notice that the two methods both work to get rid of the waste but in two very different ways.

Difference by definition

What is a garbage disposal?

garbage disposal for deep sink

This is a tiny gadget that you will find under the sink today. They work to quietly grind different kinds of food wastes, thus liquefying them before pushing them to the sewerage system. You need to connect this disposal to your drainage and electric system for it to work for you.

Often it will cost you less than $100 but sometimes even more than $500 depending on the size quality and brand you choose.

What is a trash compactor?

Trash Compactor

This looks like the regular containers, and it works to reduce the waste in your house or wherever you set it. The compactor crushes any waste you discard, thus reducing it to manageable pieces.

It has only three parts, the bag where you will put the waste, the metal rim which crashed the waste, and the switch. So this is not the regular trash bag. The compacted trash will take on a lot of waste when you compare it to the regular trash can.

Remember, though, that there are specific bags you will use with the trans compactor and not just the normal ones you have.

The difference by operation

If you look at it, this is the main difference between the two. Remember, garbage disposal is made to handle only food waste. However, even in the kitchen alone, we do not only produce food waste. Humans also produce other kinds of wastes too.

The garbage disposal will, in fact, not work on even some tough food waste. Consider bones, for example. If you have tough bones, you can use the garbage disposal to grind them. It doesn’t matter how powerful it is; you will damage it if you do.

On the contrary, if you use the trash compactor, you can dispose of anything and everything in it. The trash compactor will work by compacting all the waste you have to small and manageable pieces.

Nonetheless, you will still have to remove trash outside. It’s not like the garbage disposal that drains it to the sewage system. This one you will have to take out. The only difference is that you won’t do it as frequently as you do when you don’t have one.

The difference by the pros and the cons

The garbage disposal pros

  • You will like the fact that this garbage disposal breaks down the waste immediately you push them in.
  • If you keep the garbage disposal clean, then you can be sure it will keep an ambient kitchen at all times.
  • No more trips to remove a lot of food waste out, you just push them down the drain and its taken to the sewage once its ground.
  • It eases the process of cleaning.
  • These garbage disposals are easy to install.


  • The disposers can be noisy.
  • You will handle clogs from time to time.
  • It only handles food wastes and also only particular food wastes.
  • It takes time to sort out what you can throw into the garbage disposal and what you cant.

Trash compactor pros

  • It will cater to all the different kinds of waste, not only food waste. This means you won’t need to sort out the trash you are throwing into the trash compactor.
  • You can have it reduce a lot of waste and thus minimize the trips outside.
  • It’s available across the globe.
  • It doesn’t need excessive cleaning and cleaning methods because you can comfortably reach its different parts.


  • It’s noisy too, just like the garbage disposal when you switch it on.
  • They allow the terrible smell in the kitchen. Remember, you just reduced the waste, but the waste is still in the can.
  • It entails a lot of work since you will need to change the bags manually.
  • You will still go outside to discard the waste eventually.

The difference by price

Well, since you use both of the tools for clearing the waste, you should know their cost. The garbage disposal is a little more expensive. If you have less money, therefore, you should buy the trash compactor than the garbage disposal.

The one benefit you have in buying the trash compactor over the garbage disposal is that you won’t have to use it for only food waste. It caters to all the different kinds of garbage at a go.

Of course, you will find other trash compactors being a little more costly and almost the price of the garbage disposal. But you can also find the cheap trash compactors.

Difference by installation

The installation process of the garbage disposal and that of the trash compactor is different. But it will take you more time and effort to install the garbage disposal than your trash compactor. It’s an easy step by step process to install the trash compactor. Even as a beginner, you can follow the manual instruction and still get it right.

For garbage disposal, you have a lot of basic plumbing and electrical work to do. Lucky for you, there are so many videos to guide you in this process.

The difference by popularity

The trash compactor is declining as the garbage disposals rise.

Although we still have several households with trash compactors, you can see that the garbage disposals are way popular.

In the global scene, you may say the trash compactor has its space too, but in America, the garbage disposal is almost a must-have where trash compactors are rare.

The garbage disposal appears to be more convenient since you don’t have to carry wastes out anymore. Not to say that people don’t use the trash compactors they do but not as much as the garbage disposal.

Difference by the size of waste

Although there are significant garbage disposals, most of such kinds of disposals you will find in industrial establishments. At home, we only keep sizeable disposals. This means that it can only take on a certain amount of waste at a time, or else you risk damaging it.

The trash compactor, on the other hand, will take wastes in large amounts. You can store about six bags of garbage in the trash compactor, then reduce it and add some more. In the end, you will discard so much waste at a time.

For a clean environment

Although the trash compactor is invisible and it will take on massive amounts of wastes, it can host bacteria if you aren’t careful. Sadly it will sometimes make your kitchen not smell clean and fresh as you would like to. This is true if you didn’t take the best quality ones.

The garbage disposal, on the other hand, takes on the waste and grinds it immediately. If you remember to get rid of gunks, then you keep the kitchen smelling fresh. In fact, you should clean the trash regularly.

Who benefits from a trash compactor?

Well, I must say we all would benefit from it but especially when you have a large family. When there are many in your household, you can be sure you produce a lot of wastes.

The trash compactor doesn’t care whether you want to discard food waste or just the general waste; it will always work. In fact, it reduces waste by 75%. It may not be as ideal for a small family, though.

Albeit if you wish to reduce the waste removal cost, then you can use this trash compactor. It will also help you learn to reduce waste production.

Who benefits from the garbage disposal?

Everyone does benefit from this one, but especially if you have a small family. It’s ideal for you if you:

  • Like to cook a lot
  • You eat at home a lot as a family
  • Your city allows you to install one
  • You like to clean and would like to maintain a clean kitchen environment

Bottom line if you live in town and almost everyone has garbage disposal to reduce the waste, you should join it.

But if you are in the countryside and you have a composting method, then use a trash compactor.

Is there anyone (garbage disposal and trash compactor) that’s better?

Well, it all depends on what you are looking for, but I will tell you that both of these tools work differently. They serve different audiences at different times, as well. The garbage disposal makes it easy to clean as you go, but it also won’t even grind every food waste.

The trash compactor reduces all your waste, but you still have to get the trash out.

If you, however, want to join the green movement, you should opt for the trash compactor as it will reduce the waste entirely and encourage composting.