Compaction is the primary volume-reduction method. Uncompacted waste has a typical density of approximately 130 kg/m3 and can be increased three- to fourfold using a standard (20,000 psi) compactor. Super compactors can increase the density by a factor of ten. Shredding waste prior to compaction can also reduce the final volume. Compaction methods cannot be applied to hard and dense waste items for which volume reduction would be minimal. During compacting, potentially contaminated gases, liquids, and particulates are expelled from the waste and must be trapped by an off-gas (scrubber) treatment system.

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