Several people were involved in the development of the modern kitchen trash compactor. In 1941, M. S. Wells invented and patented a hydraulic compacting device. Although his device was intended for compacting oil cans, the basic functionality of using hydraulics for compaction is used in today's trash compactors.
John Boyd patented the first kitchen trash compactor in 1968, but his design required a connection to the home's water supply to create the hydraulic pressure to crush and compact the garbage. Around the same time, Stephen Hopkins patented a compactor that employed a sealed hydraulic system which didn't require a water connection. His version was for commercial use in apartments and businesses, but the self-contained hydraulic system would later be incorporated into home trash compactors. Hopkins and Boyd both worked for a company called Compackager Corporation.
In 1991 John Bauer filed a patent on a version of the home trash compactor that used two compartments, for recyclable and non-recyclable items. The next year Ray Lackner marketed a compactor that you can continually compact and add trash to, rather than waiting to compact it all at once.
Modern trash compactor innovations include smaller and quieter models that can handle both wet and dry garbage and control odor.
Here are a few repair and maintenance tips for your trash compactor.
Remember: always disconnect the machine from its power source before doing any troubleshooting or repair work.
Use a deodorizer to combat odors.
Make sure you use the proper trash compactor bag for your brand.
If your trash compactor model uses a filter, replace it regularly.
If your trash compactor is not operating at all and you've determined it is getting power, it may have a defective switch.