Smash Can

Trash Compactor

Smash Your Trash

Sticking your foot in the trash is an effective way to compact the contents, but Ken Kreafle invented a much better solution with the Smash Can. It looks pretty much like an ordinary stainless-steel trash can, but the lid contains a clever surprise. A built-in cylindrical compactor descends into the can when you push on the lid, forcing down the garbage. You can compact twice as much trash into a single bag, without ever touching the mess or requiring electrical power.

Ken’s motivation for the Smash Can was to
create a simple, effective solution to a nagging problem: the nearly constant need to take out the trash. His creation won a prestigious IDEA award from the Industrial Designers Society of America (all week long we’ll be featuring 2010 IDEA winners). The IDEA award is an impressive endorsement, but we wanted to see for ourselves how the Smash Can works.

We found the perfect tester: Captain John Doherty of FishAye Trading Company. John is an avid fisherman and he makes gorgeous artwork using some of the fish he catches (you can see his artwork here).

An artist and a fisherman – who better to put this Grommet through its paces. “With six kids, four adults, two cats, two guinea pigs, and a black lab living in the house, trash cans get to overflowing every day. After two weeks of constant use I find it works as good as it looks,” John told us. Thumbs up from a busy dad who is the ‘family garbage man.’ John’s daughter is pictured here smashing trash.
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  • Trash Compactor
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Ken

    Thanks so much to the Daily Grommet for inviting us here today. We are very excited to be a featured “Grommet” and to introduce the Smash Can to all of you. When I design a product I start with a simple insight and look for a simple solution. The Smash Can is the simple solution to your constantly full trash can. I am honored that it was recognized for its design excellence by the IDSA and would love to hear what you think about it too.

    I am out of the country today and will not be available to join the conversation, but Rhett is here to answer any questions you have. I look forward to reading your comments upon my return.

  • Jackie
    9/13/2010 12:13 PM

    Hi, What a great idea! Do we need special trash bags for this? How are the bags put in to the can---I don't see any bag hanging over the sides and wondered how they are inserted into the container. What are the dimensions? Is it offered in colors or finishes? So excited about this "grommet"!!

  • Rhett
    9/13/2010 12:23 PM

    Hi Jackie

    Thanks for the questions.

    Smash Can takes standard 13 gal bags (no heavy duty bag needed). There is a removable liner so you just tuck the bag under the edge.

    The interior size of the Smash Can is 10.5 gallon(40 ltr)...BUT the nice thing is you can get about TWICE that amount IN the can by simply compacting it!

  • Rhett
    9/13/2010 12:29 PM

    Regarding the Smash Can colors/finish:

    Right now we only have the Stainless Steel exterior to offer.

    The Smash Can is 15" wide and 27" by the way! It looks great, a modern work of art in your kitchen!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/13/2010 3:38 PM

    I bet some families could go down a can-size for their weekly pick up. Great design!

  • Rhett
    9/13/2010 4:09 PM

    Katherine you bring up a good point. We hear often from users whose municipality is charging more and more for trash pick up. Some even charge by the individual bag!

    With Smash Can, more in a bag = less cost!

  • Pat
    9/13/2010 5:35 PM

    It is a clever idea, but needs some more thinking. In the video, the kids throw away cardboard--paper waste that can be recycled-- and plastic wrap --that can go back to grocery stores with their plastic bags for recycling. They are happy to smash the waste, but I'd rather they be happy to recycle, than to waste the waste. In many communities such as Lexington, waste is measured by weight (tons) for municipal disposal or incineration, not by volume. So, I suggest at least have the video stress non-recyclable trash.

    Maybe it could smash paper waste for recyclers?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/13/2010 6:41 PM

    @Pat - very good observation and feedback. Thank you!

  • Jean
    10/24/2010 9:22 AM

    I love this idea, and we recycle so, I do not have so much trash. What about removing the bags once filled? Are they easy to remove? this is not shown on the video. I have arthritis and getting the heavy bags out of the can are an issue for me.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/25/2010 2:41 PM

    @Jean: Great question. I will talk to one of our testers and report back!

  • joanne domeniconi
    joanne domeniconi – Grommet Team
    10/25/2010 6:31 PM

    @Jean: The trash is compacted so a full bag will tend to be heavier than a bag of trash that's not compacted. I think the value here is that you use less plastic bags and that its don't use your hand or your foot to compact the trash. It's also human powered, unlike other types of trash compacting appliances. The bags are easy to pull out of the can. Hope this helps you make a decision. -- Joanne

  • Joanne
    11/3/2010 4:35 PM

    Just want to thank Daily Grommet for bringing this smash can to their site. I purchased this when it first came out and my husband can not get over that he is making less trips to our transfer station. It really does what it says and compacts a lot of trash into one bag that is easy to remove. Thank you Daily grommet and thank you Ken for inventing it. I highly recommend it and by the way it does look great in my kitchen

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/4/2010 1:37 PM

    @Joanne: Thank you for stopping back and sharing your experience with this product! What a great testament to its usefulness and attractiveness!

  • Ess
    5/12/2011 1:12 PM

    What?! I'm disappointed that the video shows recyclable materials (a box) being thrown into the trash!

  • Tori
    Tori – Grommet Team
    5/12/2011 2:17 PM

    @Ess: These cans are great for reducing the size kitchen trash and all of that big recyclable material (like boxes). You can just smash it down and then take the bag out to your larger recycle bin outdoors.

  • William Harrington
    William Harrington
    6/8/2011 6:45 PM

    I am one who likes to physically see and touch the object I am considering purchasing. I have done this with the Twist 'n Sparkle and would like to do it with the Smash Can. Is there a store that sells these?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    6/9/2011 8:49 AM

    @William Harrington: I will check and let you know directly. Thank you for stopping by.

  • William
    8/21/2011 8:53 AM

    Is there a store in Tulsa, OK that sells these?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/21/2011 4:34 PM

    @William: I will see what I can find and contact you directly. If you can't find one locally, you can stop back here to make your purchase.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.