Compact Your Commercial Waste and Save Money


If your business generates at least the equivalent of three 8-yard dumpsters being picked up once a week, there's a good chance investing in a compactor would be a more cost-efficient way of handling your waste. Compactors have the advantage of generating heavier waste loads, reducing the frequency of pickups and saving money on your trash bills. 

Costs involved to your business for a compactor:

  • monthly rental fees: a 3-year lease on a new 42-yard compactor can run about $400/month
  • haul charge is defined by how far the truck has to go; typically you are looking at a minimum of about $170 per load
  • disposal charge: this varies by area and runs between $45 - $75 per load

For example, if you choose a 42-yard compactor with a compaction rate of 4:1, it will hold the equivalent of 168 yards of waste, or 21 8-yard dumpsters. Adding up the average costs listed above, a once-a-month pickup will cost about $650.00. Take a look at your commercial trash bill. If you're paying more than that for service, you should look more closely at switching from a dumpster to a compactor. Be sure to read our tips on managing your compactor hauling fees to save even more money.


When you are choosing a compactor, go through a local equipment broker to determine the right equipment for needs and to a bank or other lender for financing. Don't let you hauler supply and finance your equipment for you. You'll be locked into an agreement whether or not the equipment or hauler are meeting your needs. They come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and compaction rates, so you'll be able to find one that most exactly meets your needs. 

Know that there are two basic types to choose from:

stationarycompactorStationary compactors:

  • are bolted to the ground
  • the receiver box is latched on to the ground unit
  • full boxes are loaded onto a truck and replaced with a fresh, empty box

Stationary compactors require enclosures, a one-time investment that will vary according to your needs. The power unit - the hydraulics and ram - on a stationary compactor is 8' - 10' long, so your collection box will be that far away. Most companies build a walkway with steel sides and roof, lighted on the inside, as protection from the elements. If the compactor is aligned with the dock door, you will need a 4' x 4' chute to go down into the collection box. And safety gates are almost always necessary. 


Self-contained compactors:

  • are moveable
  • are all one piece
  • are often used by restaurants and hospitals because they won't leak

It's faster to swap the box out on a stationary model than it is to replace a full self-contained box with an empty one, a process than can take an hour or longer.

For other tips on saving money on waste hauling and increasing recycling revenues, download our free white paper:

7 Proven Ways to Increase Recycling Revenue