Who Invented the Trash Compactor?

There is no single inventor of the trash compactor. An assessment of the history of the trash compactor shows there are actually several inventions that led to the compactors as we know them today.


The Earliest Trash Compactors

Most machines use hydraulics to crush compress garbage. Using this definition of a trash compactor, the earliest patent would belong to M. S. Wells. In 1941 he patented an invention to compact oil cans.

The mechanisms of his device are similar to the ones used by other trash compactors. This was followed by other inventions. The succeeding ones would improve or add features to the basic compactor.

One well known patent is for the Kitchen Compactor. This apparatus was designed by one Mr. Boyd. A study of the history of the trash compactor will reveal that it adheres to the basic principles of trash compactors.

In his application, Mr. Boyd declared the machine would use hydraulic pressure to compact trash. This apparatus had to be linked to the water line before it could be used.

Boyd’s invention was for houses. That same year Stephen Hopkins came out with a trash compactor for apartments and offices. It did not need a water line to work. Instead it relied on electricity and an internal hydraulic unit. Both Boyd and Hopkins worked for the same company, Compackager Corporation.

The Modern Trash Compactors

The history of the trash compactor since the 1970s is noted for numerous improvements and innovations. The kitchen compactors today have noise reduction features built in. The pistons used in these devices have also become more powerful and more efficient.


In addition, specially designed trash bags have been made for these compactors. Elements like sensors, pre determined pressures and load relievers have been created as well. Some of the newer devices make use of solar power.

Utilization in Homes and Industries

Since its invention, a variety of businesses have made use of this device. Restaurants and hotels in particular have used them to reduce the garbage they generate. As any student of the history of the trash compactor will see, these devices were designed to get rid of garbage effectively. Their efficiency has made them indispensable in medical facilities.

The trash compactor is also being used in residential homes. It doesn’t just reduce trash levels; it also gets rid of the smell. This in turns keeps rats and other pests away.

These compactors are also utilized in municipalities and cities. Some trash compactors can hold up several hundred tons of garbage. These devices provide efficient means of disposing of waste.

In construction, three variants of compactors are employed. The roller type destroys rocks while the plate compactor is used for making levels. The jumping jack is used to compress backfill in trenches.

A look at the inventors and history of the trash compactor reveals one thing: the devices were made to dispose of waste appropriately. Today these devices not only get rid of trash, but it has also plays a part in keeping the environment clean.