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post #1 of 38 Old 06-16-2015 Thread Starter
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Trash compactor

We all make an art of keeping garbage as small as possible. We're heading out to cruise soon, so the mission is upon us. Everything gets crushed as small as possible and ends up in a trash bag.

A foot in a pail is also a most popular compression method.

Has anyone every seen or installed a real trash compactor aboard? I'm sure you would need to keep smelly stuff out. As for power, we run the genset everyday anyway (to recharge, make ice, etc).

I can't find a small enough unit to put aboard anyway and I've seen some manual gadgets that I'm sure don't work.

The onboard garbage can is under the silverware drawers and slide out. But, it's so ridiculously small, we never use it, rather we tie a garbage bag to the side of the companionway. It's certainly far from the most attractive solution.

Any observations or experience or interesting methods for trash storage?


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post #2 of 38 Old 06-16-2015
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Re: Trash compactor

Well, you could get a cider press (or a duck press) or something similar, put a heavy metal sleeve around it, and compress it all manually. A log splitter, an auto jack (hydraulic or screw)...all sorts of stuff. Probably if you started out with a heavy stainless pot, like an old pressure cooker and then just had a metal shop cut a 1/2" steel plate to use as the top "compression ram"...?
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post #3 of 38 Old 06-16-2015
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Re: Trash compactor

Compactors were quite popular on yachts in the late 70's and early 80's. A few reasons why they stopped being used or replaced when they died.
1) You must wash EVERYTHING very well or they stink, quickly. Remember, no water makers back then.
2) compactor bags were a bit expensive and sometimes hard to get in the Caribbean so you made sure to fill them all the way up. See #3.
3) the bricks of compacted garbage can get very heavy and they were difficult to transport to the garbage ashore. No garbage bag could hold them.

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post #4 of 38 Old 06-16-2015
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Re: Trash compactor

Yes. On big boats...luxury yachts. When cruising the lockers become empty because the food is being consumed, right? Presumably there should be room for trash unless you are picking up trash from the sea. It does need to be cleaned a bit to avoid smells. And the food bits need to go overboard.

Almost zero boats are designed for stowage of this type, having only cute little cubbies for the wife's knick-knacks (did I write that...whoops!) The neato boat by Bob in the steel boat thread has some very nice forward holds that might be perfect for trash bags. That's what I have.

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Re: Trash compactor

This is mostly a coastal cruising concept. We don't need to go weeks storing garbage, but often we go beyond the duration of a single bag. We can drop the full bag in a lazz or sometimes in the dinghy, but I don't like it. As for putting garbage in the storage that the supplies were extracted from, that's not viable. Stores are not used linearly. Dry goods come from one place, wet from another, cold, frozen, etc, etc. You don't put garbage back in the fridge, where the food came from.

While many compactors call for 4 to 1 or even 7 to 1 compacting, it would only take a 2 or 3 to 1 compactor to get us by nearly 100% of the time. But I can't find one that fits anyway.

Recall that beyond the desire to limit garbage storage, I'm trying to eliminate the swinging unsightly garbage bag and just looking for storage ideas in general.


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post #6 of 38 Old 06-16-2015
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Re: Trash compactor

Garbage management for off shore cruising starts for us during the provisioning stage. Getting rid of packing material before it gets on the boat. No cardboard or paper packaging to start with. Repacking into re useable ziplock bags. For meat items, rinsing the used plastic to reduce the the odors before placing in a dry bag with compression straps. This bag is then strapped on the stern rail, out of sight, no smell , not taking space up in the galley, then emptied on shore or usually burned by us on a distant shore.
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Re: Trash compactor

I can easily rinse containers with a salt water foot pump in the sink. No fresh water waste. I'm also fine with separating food waste to go overboard, as we'll spend sufficient time offshore. Still, packaging, bottles, containers, etc, really seem to add up.


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Re: Trash compactor

The trouble you 50 footer guys have to deal with. Lack of storage, trash compactors, dishwashers, washing machines, three heads, 38 thru hulls.....maybe a condo by the sea would be easier?
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Re: Trash compactor

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
The trouble you 50 footer guys have to deal with. Lack of storage, trash compactors, dishwashers, washing machines, three heads, 38 thru hulls.....maybe a condo by the sea would be easier?
That was a sweet note. Or are you jealous? WTF. This was a serious thread.

Yes, I need a better trash solution.
Dishwasher is ridiculous.
Washing machine is fantastic.
Three heads are nice, maybe one too many.
I think it's closer to 25 thru hulls.

You forgot the 25 lb ice maker. I've not ever had anyone aboard, sailor or not, that wasn't in love with the thing.


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post #10 of 38 Old 06-16-2015
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Re: Trash compactor

Coastal cruising is easy - we're mostly not away from acceptable disposal sites more than a couple of days. Still we also wash all refuse that is likely to go smelly. And when washing a small thing isn't practical (like shrink-wrap off meat) it goes into a zip-lock bag until it can be discarded.

Off shore - we keep all plastic (washed) for shoreside dumping but we buy as little as possible in plastic to begin with.

Our choice is glass or metal containers. I've been criticised for this before but I still do it and will argue the toss forever - these go into the sea. Yes, I hear the hysterical cries of "shame on you" but reality is that those containers will disintegrate over time on the sea bed without as much as a blip on the environmental radar. I've always held the view that when a single ship sinks, more metal and glass goes into the sea than the entire cruising fraternity will discard in ten years. And for the record, 59 ships have sunk somewhere in the world this year already and we're only mid-way through June!!!

Ironically, all anybody cares about when a ship sinks is how much fuel was on board and how many people died. Unrecovered people are part of the food chain so no worries there. The steel and glass don't appear to bother anybody.

Paper/cardboard we burn in the barbecue.

We have surprisingly little refuse when we come ashore even after a 3-week voyage - have never considered a need for a compactor.


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