The Cheapest non-electric Trash Compactor
13 Gallon Wastebasket & 11 Ounce Coffee Can
by Bill Russo
Sears sells an entry level Trash Compactor for about $500.00
With pride, they note that it has a four to one compaction ratio. That means that four bags of rubbish can be squeezed into one.
My 11 ounce coffee can compactor will round up and hide the complete contents of a 13 gallon trash bag! That is a nifty compaction ratio of about 15 to one! And all it will cost you is whatever the price of coffee is. The can that I show in the picture is Stop and Shop 'half caf''. It was on sale for two dollars.
This article will show you, with photos that I took, that you really can stuff a whole basketfull of refuse into that tiny little metal tin.
Before we get to the 'how to do it', let's talk about 'Why would I want to?'
Campers, day trippers, and bike trail riders often search without success for a rubbish barrel. If you take along a handy dandy little coffee container, all your leftovers will be neatly tucked away until you either find a barrel or dump it at home.
Trash cans along hiking and biking trails are rare. Sadly the same is true at parks, roadside rests, and other public places. It seems like there are less and less every year. Even super markets have begun to hide their refuse receptacles as the cost of disposal continues to rise.
If you live in an apartment like I do, it seems like you are always having to trek to the dumpster. In my case it is outside and about a minute's walk from my door. Granted, a minute might not seem like much; but it can be a long time in the middle of winter when I have to trudge through the snow. In Summer, it seems like as soon as I head for the dumpster, there is a thunder storm! Once this summer on my way to dispose of my trash, we had a storm that dumped bumble bee sized hailstones.
By using one basket for cans and such and a second basket just for compacted paper and cardboard, I greatly reduce the number of times I have to walk to the dumpster. I also gain the benefit of using fewer trash bags.
HOW TO USE THE AMAZING COFFEE CAN COMPACTOR
Keeping an empty can next to my sink is what works best for me. When I have paper or cardboard to throw out, I just squish it into the can put the cover on. Even a small soup can is capable of holding a surprising quantity.
For purposes of this article, I emptied the contents of a 13 gallon plastic trash bag onto a table next to the coffee can. The small mountain as well as the container are shown in the photo to the right.
Using the JUJYFRUITS theater size box as a reference point, you can guage the quantity of waste that I will attempt to stuff into the can.
Chipping Away at the Little Mountain
This next picture shows that I have eliminated about one third of the mound and there is plenty of room left. Cardboard boxes, such as a 'Lean Gourmet' microwave meal, are easier to put into the can if you fold them up as small as possible. Plastic bags, even the large ones, will reduce down to less than golf ball size.
There are just a few odd scraps left. It looks like there is actually going to be enough space left over for me to jettison tomorrow's junk mail!
On Cape Cod, where I live, there are no sewer systems and no garbage collection. They don't let us have garbage disposers because they say it would overload the septic tanks.
So I put my few excess food bits right into my Coffee Can Compactor. Since I always put the lid on between usages, I avoid having food smells emanate from my waste bucket. And because I also put banana peels and other fruit skins in, I do not have to worry about bothersome fruit flies.
Tamping Down the JUJYFRUITS
Final step. Push everything down flush to the rim of the can. Seal it up and find another can to hold the next batch of waste. No can goes to waste. I rinse them all under the faucet and save them because if you don't, you may find that the supply of rubbish far exceeds the number of cans you have available.
Well that's it for How to Make the Amazing Coffee Can Compactor. I hope you like it.
More by this Author
From humble beginnings in Northern Maine, Dick Curlesss rose to the top of the Nashville heap with the truckin' classic "Tombstone Every Mile".
A young country musician is offered a three year deal from a Nashville record company...but he has to leave home & tour Europe and Australia. He's torn between family & wanting to succeed in music.
Update on eerie creature sightings and the film and TV documentaries about haunted New England