To eliminate the problems associated with collection, removal, storage, and handling of screenings, wastewater treatment plants install devices that continuously intercept, shred, and grind large floating material in the waste flow into small pieces. These cutting and shredding devices are called comminutors. Comminution reduces solid particles to smaller sizes.

The use of comminutors reduces odors, flies, and un-sightliness. They normally operate continuously and are generally located between the grit chamber and the primary settling tanks. When only one comminutor exists, a bypass channel with a manually-cleaned bar screen and flow-diverting gates should be constructed.

Comminutors with rotating cutters can be divided into two groups. In one group, the screen rotates and has cutters; in the other group, the screen is stationary and only the cutters rotate.

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