United States Patent 3722403

A compactor comprising a compression chamber, ram means for compressing a slug of material, expulsion means for expelling the slug from the chamber and control means for maintaining continuous sequential operation.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
100/52, 100/98R, 100/99, 100/102, 100/215, 100/218, 100/250, 100/251, 100/269.16, 100/295
International Classes:
B09B3/00; B30B9/30; (IPC1-7): B30B15/16
Field of Search:
141/71,73 53
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US Patent References:

Other References:

"Research-Cottrell" Pamphlet 5 pages.
Primary Examiner:
Wilhite, Billy J.
What is claimed

1. A compacting device for refuse and the like comprising a longitudinal compression chamber having a feed opening at its trailing end for delivery of material to be compacted, a compacting zone at its leading end, said compacting zone being defined by a fixed wall against which the material delivered is compacted, and a discharge opening transverse thereto for the expulsion of compacted material, a ram longitudinally movable in said chamber, said ram being movable between a first advanced position proximate said compacting zone and a second retracted position rearwardly of said feed opening, means for sensing the delivery of material to said feed opening, first motive means responsive to the sensing of delivered material for withdrawing said ram from said advanced position and subsequently advancing and retracting said ram from a position trailing said feed opening to said position proximate said compacting zone to thereby compact successive amounts of delivered material therein, a pusher movable within said compacting zone, second motive means for moving said pusher to urge the compacted material out of said discharge opening, gate means securing said discharge opening, and third motive means for moving said gate means between a position covering said discharge opening to a position uncovering said discharge opening, means for sensing the density of material in said compacting zone including means for permitting cyclic operation of said first motive means on sensing a density below a predetermined level, and means for holding said ram in said advanced position and for simultaneously permitting movement of said pusher and gate means on sensing of a density above a predetermined level to permit expulsion of the compacted material, means for receiving said compacted bodies comprising a rotating platform adapted to carry a plurality of containers in proximity to the discharge opening, fourth motive means for moving said platform, and means for operating said fourth motive means to index said platform to present said containers sequentially to said discharge opening.

2. The device according to claim 1 wherein each of said first, second and third motive means includes a double acting hydraulic cylinder having a piston connected respectively to the ram, the pusher and the gate, a hydraulic pump connected to said cylinders, and control means comprising a first, second and third solenoid operated valve interposed between said pump and each of said cylinders respectively for providing flow of pressurized fluid alternately to opposite ends of said cylinders, said flow being normally directed to maintain the ram in its most forward position, the pusher in retracted position and the gate in closed position.

3. The device according to claim 2 including first means for sensing the delivery of material to be compacted to the feed opening, said sensing means being operable to cause said first solenoid valve to alternate flow of pressurized fluid to the first cylinder to effect continuous operation of the ram.

4. The device according to claim 3 including second sensing means for determining the density of the material compacted in the compacting zone and for disconnecting response of the first solenoid operable valve on the reaching of a predetermined density value.

5. The device according to claim 4 including means responsive to the second sensing means to cause operation of the second and third solenoid valves to effect the opening of the gate and the expulsion of the compacted material.

6. The device according to claim 5 including means responsive to the expulsion of the compacted material for operating the fourth motive means to cause the platform to index.

7. The device according to claim 6 including means to prevent operation of the solenoid valves after a predetermined number of platform indexings.

8. The device of claim 7 including means responsive to the pressure on said ram during the advance thereof exceeding a predetermined value at an intermediate position rearwardly of the most advanced position for retracting said ram from said intermediate position and then advancing said ram.

9. The device of claim 8 including means for limiting the repetitive successive retraction and advancing of said ram during the period of pressure exceeding said predetermined value.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein the first sensing means comprises a photosensitive element exposed to the interior of the feed opening and means for directing light across said chute toward said photosensitive element.

11. The device of claim 10 including selectively operable means for actuating said first motivating means independently of said first sensing means to move said ram to said retracted position and to return said ram to said intermediate position.

12. The device according to claim 1 including control means for repeating the cyclic operation on the continued feeding of material to the compression chamber to compact successive bodies of material.


The present invention relates to improvements in refuse compacting devices, and in particular, to a device for automatically and successively compacting and bagging a series of refuse loads.

In the copending application, Ser. No. 823,059, now U.S. Pat. No. 3580166, to which reference is made, there is disclosed a refuse compacting device eminently suitable for the containerization of specific quantities or fixed loads of refuse, trash or garbage of any type, including paper, food, cans, etc. The device is quite suitable, in use in small apartment houses, restaurants and the like where the waste and refuse accumulated within any given period of time, is not excessively large.

In brief, the device comprises a longitudinally extending compression chamber having a discharge opening at its leading end and a feed opening at its trailing end. Mounted, to reciprocate, within the compression chamber is a hydraulically operated ram designed to compact, to a predetermined density and pressure, refuse fed into the chamber through the feed opening. Mounted at the discharge opening of the chamber is a manually pivotal door movable between an open and closed position. In the open position, the door permits access to the compacted refuse and in the closed position, the door is securely latched or locked to the end of the discharge opening to provide a wall or cylinder face against which the refuse may be compacted. On full compaction of the refuse, an operator opens the door, places a bag or other receptacle over the discharge opening and removes the compacted refuse by further actuation of the ram which pushes the refuse into the receptacle. Thus, it will be seen that the operation of the device is limited to a single load of refuse at any one time.

In addition to the type of device, as described in the aforementioned patent, there has become need for apparatus which automatically and without any manual assistance compacts, bags and discharges a substantially constant and endless quantity of refuse. Such devices are needed in large multiple dwellings, large restaurants and large institutions, for example, where there is a constant stream of refuse and where incineration and/or other means of disposal is now virtually prohibited by lack of labor, and by the high costs involved.

It is the principle object of this invention to provide a refuse compactor capable of being employed where a significantly steady or endless load of refuse is found.

It is another object of this invention to provide a refuse compactor capable of automatically compacting and ejecting into suitable receptacles successive loads of refuse.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a refuse comparator which automatically empties itself and does not require manual supervision.

It is a specific object of this invention to provide a refuse compactor which automatically bags the compacted load.

It is a specific object of this invention to provide a refuse compactor which may be continuously or intermittently operated solely in response to the amount of refuse fed to it.


According to the present invention, there is provided a refuse compacting device comprising a compression chamber, having a longitudinal axis and a fixed wall at its leading end, and a feed opening at its trailing end. A ram is mounted to reciprocate within the chamber from a position to the rear of the feed opening to a position spaced from the front wall and is operable to compact the refuse into a predetermined density, shape and size in the space so provided within the chamber. A discharge opening is provided at the side of the compression chamber in the space between the forward position of the ram and the forward wall which opens perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis of the chamber. Means for the expulsion of the compacted refuse out of the space is also provided as is means for collecting and removing the compacted refuse so expelled.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the ram and the forward wall of the compression chamber are arcuately formed so as to create a cylindrical load of compacted refuse having an axis perpendicular to the axis of the chamber. The means for expelling the load, in its preferred form, comprises a pusher member movable from a position diametrically opposite the discharge opening through the discharge opening. Also there is preferably provided means for sensing the delivery of a predetermined quantity of refuse to the feed opening, and for sequentially operating the ram and the expulsion plunger.

There is also provided means for delivering to the discharge opening a receptacle adapted to receive the expelled load of refuse which preferably comprises a platform on which a successive number of containers may be positioned so that continuous sequential operation may be affected.

The improved device of the present invention is highly efficient, simple and safe to operate and provides continuous and very rugged service.

The enumerated objects and advantages as well as others together with a complete description of the present device will be apparent from the following description.


In the following description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a compacting device embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional plan view taken along lines 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the device shown in FIG. 1, the compression ram being shown in retracted position;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic plan view of the ram position sensing switch and cam system;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic plan view of the container platform position sensing switch and cam system;

FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view of the device taken along lines 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram of the control network;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a device similar to that shown in the preceding FIGS. showing a number of modifications and embodiments.


Referring now to FIGS. 1-6, the compactor of the present invention comprises a longitudinally extending tubular compression chamber 10 of generally square transverse cross section mounted above the floor or ground level on a base frame 12.

As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the chamber 10 is formed of steel plate and includes a base 14, a pair of vertical side walls 16 and a horizontal top wall 18. The rear or trailing end 20 of the chamber 10 is closed as is the forward or leading end 22, which, for a purpose more fully described later, is preferably rounded in substantially a half-circle as seen in FIG. 2.

The compression chamber 10 is of greater length than the base 12 and is mounted thereon so that its forward end 22 extends cantilevered outwardly therefrom so as to be spaced the height of the base 12 above the floor or ground.

A rectangular feed opening 24 is formed in the top wall 18, substantially midway of the chamber 10. The feed opening 24 is provided with a hopper 26 which may in installation be connected to one or more waste disposal chutes, in the manner common with incinerator systems. In any event, the hopper 26 is adapted to receive, accumulate and pass through the feed opening 24, whatever waste is fed to it.

A double acting hydraulic cylinder 28 is mounted medially along the central axis of the chamber 10. The hydraulic cylinder 28 is of conventional construction mounted on a pair of forward and rear brackets 30 secured to the chamber base 14. Inlet and outlet conduits 32 and 34 respectively connect the forward and rear ends cylinder to a hydraulic power pack 36 located within the frame 12. A piston rod 38 is mounted coaxially in the cylinder 28 in conventional manner to be moved forwardly on intake of hydraulic fluid through line 32 and to move rearwardly on intake of hydraulic fluid through line 34. Affixed to the piston 38 by suitable fastening means is a ram 40 of concave shape assuming a half-circular form complimentary to the forward end of the chamber 22.

The ram 40 is adapted to reciprocate, in a smooth uniformly pressured manner, between its rearwardly retracted position C, across the intake opening 24 through shear position B, to a forward position A where the trash is fully compacted as seen in FIG. 2.

The forwardmost position of the ram 40 creates a cylindrical zone between the position A and the forward end 22 of the chamber 10 in which the trash is compacted to a slug of predetermined density and of the shape of the circular zone. The ram 40, in transverse cross section at its greatest extent, is substantially the size of the compression chamber 10, and is assembled with a flat rectangular gate plate 42 extending rearwardly from its top edge and a pair of vertical side skirts 44 depending therefrom. As a consequence, the ram assembly completely fills the interior of the chamber 10 and while refuse may be constantly present, such refuse will not lodge behind the ram or within the portion of the chamber 10 behind the feed opening 24, no matter what position the ram is in.

Extending transversely to the chamber 10 at the position B is a highly tempered steel toothed member 46, cooperating with the upper forward edge of the ram 40 to provide a pair of shear members between which any trash of considerable size, weight or bulk may be cut and destroyed so that it can be efficiently compacted.

In brief, the present apparatus functions to cause refuse or rubbish fed to the chamber 10 to be compacted by predetermined activation of the hydraulic cylinder 28 which causes the ram 40 to exert an extreme degree of pressure on the refuse or rubbish against the forward wall 22 of the chamber. The compacted rubbish takes the form of a cylindrical block as a result of its compaction against the complimentary half-circular configurations of the forward wall 22 and ram 40 as seen in FIGS. 2 and 4. Compaction progresses through a repetitive reciprocation of the ram 40 so long as trash is fed to the feed opening 24 and until a slug or body of trash is compacted to the required and predetermined density.

Returning to FIG. 1, the base 14 and top 18 of the chamber 10 are both provided adjacent the forward wall 22 with circular holes or apertures 48 and 50 respectively, coaxially aligned along the axis of the compaction zone. Mounted within a frame 52 secured to the top wall 18 of the chamber 10 is a hydraulic cylinder 54 having a piston 56 provided with a flat circular face plate 58 normally horizontally disposed within the plane of the top wall 18. The cylinder 52 has a double acting stroke of conventional design and is provided with inlet-outlet lines 60 connected to the hydraulic power pack. Suitable controls hereinafter described are provided to sequentially reciprocate the piston 56 after a fully compacted slug is formed to cause the face 58 to expel the slug downwardly through the opening 50.

Mounted below the opening 50 and in the plane of the bottom wall 14 or compression chamber 10 is a door member 62, having a semicircular forward edge which conforms to the shape of the forward wall 22. The door member 62 is mounted on an elongated piston arm 66 secured within a reciprocating hydraulic cylinder 68 mounted below the housing 10 on a pair of brackets 70 secured to the base 12. The piston arm 66 extends through a vertical wall 72 which provides a bearing for the arm assuring linear reciprocation. This third hydraulic cylinder 68 is small in size but conventional in construction and is also provided with inlet-outlet lines 74 connected to the hydraulic power pack.

It will, of course, be obvious that in predetermined sequence after compaction of a predetermined slug, the third hydraulic cylinder 68 moves the door member 62 rearwardly from the aperture 50 opening it, while the second hydraulic cylinder 54 is caused to move its ram 56 vertically downward, thus causing the piston face 58 to expel the slug as seen in FIG. 4.

Mounted below the door 62 is an enlarged rotatable horizontal platform 78 on which a plurality of containers 80 are carried. The platform 78 is freely mounted upon a central hub 82 secured to a flat base plate 84 having an upper extending lip 86. The platform 78 is provided with a plurality of caster wheels 88 for stability and to enable it to freely rotate on the base. Mounted on a bracket 90 to the frame 12 is an electric motor 92 from which extends a central horizontal shaft 94 to which is fixed a vertically rotatable pinion roller 96 which engages the peripheral lip 86 of the platform 78. The electric motor 92 is connected, as will be seen later, to control devices which activate it for a predetermined time limit so as to result in the indexing of the platform to sequentially move the containers beneath the door 62. The indexing is preferably limited by the size and position of the containers 80 since it is to be preferred that the containers be indexed into position beneath the door 62 sequentially.

Extending below the peripheral lip 86 is a depending skirt 98 encircling the platform. The skirt functions among other things to prevent trash from falling beneath the table 78.

In order to insure proper indexing of all containers and to fill all containers in succeeding order, it is preferred that the apparatus be set to start from a predetermined given first container station and stop when all the containers on the platform are sequentially filled. As will be shown later, this is accomplished by providing controls for operating the indexing motor 92, as well as the compaction and expulsion systems, only after the apparatus has been placed into this initial or reset position.

The platform as shown has six containers or cans. This number may be varied to suit the requirements of use since the containers may be sized as desired as may the diameter of the platform, to accommodate more or fewer containers.

The present device is provided with means for permitting fully automatic operation without the attendance of an operator to either load cans or unload garbage during the period of operation. This automatic operation functions in a cyclical fashion proceeding from one can to the next until all the cans are filled with compacted garbage. The operator is required only to reset the device for initial operation and provide on the platform 78 a full complement of empty containers. Afterward, the operator is required to remove the full cans. This is by far less manual labor than it seems since the entire operation can be accomplished within a few minutes and depending on the size and container capacity of the apparatus, no more than at most once a day or even once a week.

Reference is made to FIG. 7 which shows diagrammatically the schematic and motivating features of the present device. FIG. 7 shall, of course, refer to and make reference to specific structural details shown in the preceding FIGS.

As shown in FIG. 7, the opposite ends of the compaction ram cylinder 28 are connected to opposite ports of a solenoid actuated four-way valve 100, the inlet ports of which are connected respectively to a hydraulic fluid reservoir 102 and the outlet of a high pressure variable displacement hydraulic pump 104. The pump 104 is driven by a suitably coupled electric motor M and its inlet communicates with reservoir 102 and to an adjustable pressure relief valve 108.

The valve 100 includes a pair of actuating solenoids VF and VR. Energization of the solenoid VF connects the rear of the cylinder 28 to the outlet of pump 104 and the front of the cylinder 28 to the discharge into reservoir 102, whereas the energization of the solenoid VR connects the front of the cylinder 28 to the pump outlet and the rear thereof to discharge. Also connected to the outlet of pump 104 is a pair of pressure responsive switches HP and LP which are individually adjustable to respond to predetermined pressures. The switches HP and LP have electrical contacts HPA and LPA respectively which are normally open. Each of the contacts are being actuated to a closed position when the hydraulic fluid pressure exceeds a predetermined adjustable value. It is to be noted that under normal operating conditions, switch HP is adjusted to respond to a higher pressure than switch LP and to a pressure not exceeding that of the pressure relief valve 128.

The cylinder 54 activating the extraction ram 56 is also connected to the hydraulic pump 104 via a second four-way hydraulic valve 110 operated by a spring loaded solenoid 112. This expulsion valve 110 is operable on activation of the solenoid 112 to connect in a manner similar to valve 120, the rear of the cylinder 54 to the outlet of the pump 104 and the front of the cylinder 54 to discharge and on deactivation of the solenoid 112 to connect the front of the cylinder 54 to the pump 104 and the rear of the cylinder to discharge. In this manner, activation of the solenoid 112 will extend the expulsion ram 56 outwardly and cause the face 58 to push the trash slug out of the compaction zone. Deactivation of the solenoid 112 will result in the immediate retraction of the extraction ram 56 into its normal rest position.

The cylinder 68 activating the door 62 is also connected to the hydraulic pump via still another four-way hydraulic valve 114 operated by still another spring loaded solenoid 116. The door valve 114 is operable to connect the front end of the cylinder 68 to the outlet of the pump 104 and the rear end to discharge, on activation of the solenoid 116, and the rear end of the cylinder 68 to the outlet of the pump 104 and the front end to discharge on deactivation of the solenoid 116. In this manner, activation of the solenoid 116 will open the door 62 and deactivation of the solenoid 116 will immediately cause the door 62 to be closed.

A bank of five transversely spaced ram positioning sensing switches LS1A, LS1B, LS2, LS3 and LS5, each having a contact roller 120, are suitably mounted on a block 118 within the housing 10 between the cylinder 28 and inner surface of the top ram wall 42. These switches are located at the forward end of the cylinder 28 so as to be generally aligned vertically with the rear end of the top wall 42 when the ram is in its most forward position A. Affixed to the under surface of the wall 42 in alignment with the sensing switches LS1A, LS1B, LS2, LS3 and LS5 are switch actuating cams C1, C2, C3 and C5 each corresponding to the respectively numbered switches.

Cam C1 is elongated to contact the rollers 120 of both switches LS1A and LS1B. Switch LS1A is unipolar and is normally closed. The cam C1 is positioned to engage and open the switch LS1A when the ram 40 is in its forward position A (i.e. fully compacted position as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4). The switch LS1B is bipolar and is also normally "closed" and simultaneously actuated to an "open" position by the cam C1. Both LS1A and LS1B operate the pump motor M. Switch LS2 is normally open and its associated cam C2 engages and closes that switch when the ram plate 40 is midway between position A and position B. Switch LS2 thus functions only when the ram has passed the shear point B and compaction has been effected. Switch LS3 is normally open and is engaged and closed by cam C3 when ram plate 40 is in its fully retracted position C as seen in FIG. 3 to operate the solenoid VF. Switch LS5 is normally closed and cam C engages to open this switch when the ram 40 is at the position B sensing an obstruction at the shear point and operates a disconnect safety circuit.

The rotating platform 78 is provided with a bank of position sensing micro switches LS7, LS8 and LS9a and LS9b which are secured to the outer edge of the frame 12 adjacent to the skirt 98 of the platform 78. Affixed to the skirt 98 are a plurality of uniformly spaced cams 122, one each for each of the platform's can or container index position, and a single cam 124 located just ahead of cam 122 at the first of the predetermined container indexing positions. Each cam 122 is adapted to engage in successive manner each of the rollers 120 of each of the switches LS7 and LS8 while the cam 124 is adapted to engage only the switches LS9A and LS9B after the platform has made a complete circle.

Switch LS7 is bipolar and normally biased in its "open" position in circuit with the platform motor 92, but is maintained in its "closed" position in the compaction circuit on actuation by cam 124 whenever the platform 78 is in a proper indexed position; LS7 acts to interrupt movement of the platform and permit compaction. Switch LS8 is normally closed and is opened by actuation of the cam 122 after it passes LS7 during the indexing of the platform and interrupts the holding circuit for the platform reset. Switch LS9A is bipolar and is normally in its "closed" position in the compaction circuit except when contacted by the single cam 124, when it "opens" to interrupt the compaction circuit and signal the complete filling of all the containers. Switch LS9B is aligned with switch LS9A so as to be operable simultaneously therewith by cam 124. LS9B is bipolar and normally in "closed" position except when opened by cam 124 to permit operation of the platform motor 92 and "closed" by actuation of cam 124 to permit resetting of the table to the first indexing position.

Mounted below and in alignment with the door piston 66, moving the door 62, are a pair of position sensing micro switches LS10 and LS12. The forward end of the piston arm 66 is provided with a cam surface 126 adapted to engage the rollers 120 of each of the cams LS10 and LS12. The limit switch LS10 is positioned at the rearmost portion of the extent of the piston arm 66 and adjacent the head of the cylinder 68. This switch is in normally open position and is closed to sense the full opening of the door 62 when the piston 66 is retracted. The switch LS12 is placed at the foremost position of the extending piston arm 66 so as to close by the cam surface 126 whenever the door 62 is in fully closed position.

Mounted within the housing 52 are a bank of four normally open limit switches LS11, LS14, LS15 and LS16 which are suitable micro switches similar to those previously described. Extending vertically parallel to the ram 54 of the expulsion cylinder assembly is a rod 128 (FIG. 6) from which is extending a node 130 acting as a cam surface for the roller 120 of these switches. Switch LS11 is closed by actuation of the cam 130 when the extract ram 54 is fully down. Switch LS14 is closed when the expulsion ram is fully up to allow compaction as shown in FIG. 3. Switch LS15 is closed when ram is fully up to allow indexing of the platform. LS16 is closed when ram is adjacent the door to keep door solenoid actuated.

To insure that apparatus is operable only on the feeding of a specific load of trash to the hopper 26, a photo eye 132 with appropriate amplifier is provided to sense the presence of sufficient material fed to the feed opening 24. The photo eye 132 acts somewhat in the manner of a limit switch, being open against the passage of current when it senses a source of light and closed when the light source is interrupted. Not shown in the FIGS. is a conventional light beam located opposite to eye 132.

The motor M driving the hydraulic pump 104 is connected to a magnetic motor starter K4 in series with the photo cell 132 and a three phase electric power source connected to terminal L1 and N1. The magnetic starter MS includes a pair of overload thermal switches OL1 and OL2 which are normally closed but which open on predetermined levels of motor temperature.

The control circuit for the compactor is energized through a pair of lines extending from contacts L1 and N1 through a four position push button operating switch comprising contacts S2A and S2D employed for automatic operation, a contact S2B employed for manual operation and a contact S2C which together with the manual contact S2B is used for the initial reset operation. The start stop switch S1 is in normally closed position and is designed as an emergency safety switch to manually disconnect the entire operation immediately upon sensing some fault. The switch S1 is provided with a red light R1 when placed in open position.

The control circuit includes nine relays designated K1 through K9, and a pair of solenoid valves KR and KF, operating the ram cylinder valves VR and VF, the door solenoid 116 and the expulsion ram solenoid 112.

K1 includes a pair of normally opened switches a, b and a closed switch C. K1 is part of the high/low pressure control circuit. K2 includes a single normally opened switch and is part of the over-load time control circuit; K3 includes three relay switches a, b and c, switches a and b being normally open while switch c being normally closed; K3 is part of the expulsion control circuit; K4 comprises the magneto starter MS having the temperature over-load contacts OL1 and OL2; K5 comprises a pair of relay switches a and b, the first of which is normally open, the second of which is normally closed and functions in the compaction circuit; solenoid relay K6 has three relay switches a, b and c, the first of which is normally open, the latter two normally closed; K6 functions in the cycle operating circuit; K7 also comprises three switches a, b and c, the first two of which are normally open, the last being normally closed, K7 being part of the platform drive circuit; K8 contains a single relay switch a which is in normally closed position and is part of the door holding circuit; and K9 comprises a pair of switches a and b, switch a being normally open, switch b being normally closed, K9 being a part of the K6 operating cycle circuit.

The two solenoid hydraulically switches KR and KF are adapted to control the valves VR and VF in the four-way valve 120. The solenoid KR contains one normally open switch a and b while the solenoid KF contains a single normally opened switch a. The door and expulsion solenoids as previously noted are merely opuate in an on-off manner directly coupled to the respective valves 114 and 110.

Considering now the operation of the compacting apparatus described above, the inactive rest position of the apparatus is shown in FIG. 2. In this condition, the compacting ram assumes its most forward position in order to block the entry of the trash into the compacting unit and maintain the trash located in the chute 26. As a safety measure, the ram is kept in this forward position so that it cannot inadvertently move through the shear position B, preventing any personnel accident.

An additional feature is provided in that the apparatus cannot be operated until the platform is indexed to the first of the predetermined container positions. In this manner, operation of the device can be made sequentially to proceed from the first to the last can. As the last can is filled, the device will automatically shut itself off notwithstanding the feeding of trash to the hopper 26. Thus, the machine operates continuously through compaction cycles, expulsion cycles and indexing cycles, until there is an absence of trash or the entire complement of cans are filled.

The initial stage of operation, therefore, requires that the machine be reset to perform this cyclical operation. The on-off stop switch S1 is placed in an activated position and the four position auto/manual push button switch 52 is placed in reset. In doing so, the switch contact S2A is open, S2B and S2C are both closed, and S2D is opened. The button S2 is held and a circuit completed between S2B, LS9b, platform drive motor 92. The motor 92 causes the platform to rotate until the cam 124 located at the first of the table index positions "opens" contact LS9B (down position in FIG. 9), stopping the table drive motor at that first position. As this occurs, the light G flashes and the operator is advised that the apparatus may be placed in automatic operation. Simultaneously, the solenoid K7 energizes closing its contacts a and b and opening its contacts c. K7 is held in this energized position by LS8 which circuits with contact K7b. At the same time, the opening of K7c bypasses LS9A which was simultaneously placed into "open" position (down position in FIG. A) together with LS9B. Both LS9A and LS9B remain in the down or "open" position during the remainder of normal operation and until the full indexing cycle of the platform is completed.

The apparatus is now prepared for automatic operation. The four way springloaded push button switch returns to its normally biased position wherein switch contacts S2A and S2D are closed and switch contacts S2B and S2C are open. As soon as the photo eye 132 senses the presence of sufficient trash in the hopper 26, the magnetic starter coil K4 is energized through switch S2D, LS7, relay contact K5b, relay contact K7a and S2A.

The magnetic motor starter switch remains energized since even on retraction of the ram 40, the limit switch LS1A is normally closed when removed from cam Cl, completing the circuit through relay contact K3b. The closing of the photo eye 132 thus starts the ram 40 retracting through limit switch LS1B which energizes the solenoid KR closing contacts KRb and causing actuation of the hydraulic valve VR. The ram 40 retracts until limit switch LS3 closes, thereby energizing solenoid KF closing contact KFa which immediately operates the hydraulic valve VF moving the ram 40 forward to compacting material which is fallen from the chute 26 through the passage 24 into the cylinder 10. The ram 40 reciprocates in this manner indefinitely due to the alternating actuation of the KR and KF relays and continues until either one of the following events occur: (a) the chute is empty and/or the photo eye senses no material therein, (b) the compacted slug of trash has reached the predetermined density and is ready for extraction, (c) the final extraction is completed and the last of the complement of cans is full and/or (d) the ram 40 is blocked in its forward movement by an obstacle within the cylinder preventing its compaction through the position B.

In situation (a) if the chute is empty, the photo eye 132 will open and since the ram moves forward to its extreme position A, LS1A opens deenergizing the magnetic starter K4. Although the remaining system remains in operating condition, no action will occur since the hydraulic pump M will not be activating any of the operating hydraulic rams.

In situation (b) as soon as the ram has compacted a predetermined slug of trash, the low pressure switch LPA closes energizing K3 through the now closed contact LS2 and the closed contact K6b. Contacts K3a and K3b reverse on energization of K3. The reversal maintains K4 energized until the cam 40 completes its forward movement to position A. Ram 40 remains at position A until the extraction cycle is completed because of this closing of K3a.

In the situation (c) wherein the final can has been filled and the collection table has indexed back to the first container location, LS9A is opened by cam 124 deenergizing the compaction circuit by opening contacts K5B and K7a.

In the final situation (d) if the moving ram 40 is held by an obstacle in the chute area, pressure increases on the hydraulic cylinder 28 until the high pressure switch HPA closes. The closing of HPA energizes contact K1. K1 is a 10 second time relay which allows the ram to attempt to shear or destroy the obstacle in the given 10 seconds. If the ram clears the path within the 10 seconds, the ram moves forward similar to the normal cycle.

In the event the path is not cleared within the given 10 seconds, the contacts a and b close. Contact K1a actuates the solenoid KR causing the immediate retraction of the ram 40. The other contact K1b energizes K2 and K5 which is in series with it. The single contact of solenoid K2 maintains K2 and K5 in energized position during the time that the ram is retracted. Since LS3 is closed, the retracted ram will continue reciprocal movement repeatedly to encounter the obstacle until the pressure builds up in the high pressure switch HDA. Relay K5 is a 60 second time relay permitting this reciprocal movement for 60 seconds. At the end of 60 seconds, K5 will automatically energize reversing its contacts. On the opening of contact K5b, the compaction circuit is broken and the compaction cycle will stop. On the closing of contact K5a, the red light R2 is illuminated indicating the stoppage of the machine.

If, however, during the 60 second time delay for energization of solenoid K5, the ram 40 does clear the path and passes position B, LS5 will open breaking the circuit of contact K2a and releasing the energization of contact K2. Consequently, the cycle stop relay K5 will not be activated.

After a slug of sufficient density is made at the head end of the cylinder 10, an expulsion cycle occurs. In order for this expulsion cycle to proceed, the table must be properly indexed with a container 80 beneath the compacting zone. This is insured by the operation of the low pressure switch LPA which operates the solenoid K3 via the switch LS7 and contact K9b. With relay K3 energized, contact K3C opens, shifting the operation of the magnetic starter solenoid K4 from the ram cylinder 28 to the expulsion cylinder 54 and the door solenoid 116. On the energization of contact K3c, the door solenoid 116 is activated through the closed contact K6c and K8a via K9b. The door solenoid operates valve 114 opening the door 62. The opened door closes the normally opened contact LS10 which thereupon energizes the expulsion solenoid 112 via contact K6b. The expulsion solenoid 112 operates to move the extraction cylinder ram 54 pushing the trash slug out of a compaction zone and into a container. As the ram 54 moves downwardly, it engages and closes LS11 which energizes solenoid coils K6 and K9. On energization of K6 and K9, the contact K6a closes maintaining the solenoids K6 and K9 in energized position. In this position, the contacts K6b and K6c open reversing the pressure on the extraction solenoid 112 which is spring loaded and therefore returns instantly to its deactivated positions.

When the extraction ram reaches its fully retracted position, LS14 opens and since contact K6c is then open, the door solenoid 116 is deactivated closing the door. Simultaneously, LS15 closes when the extraction ram returns to the full up position and consequently starting the platform motor 92 through the now closed contact K9b.

When the door 62 is fully closed, LS12 opens and since the contact K6c is also now open, the extraction cycle relay K3 is deactivated.

The table now rotates through LS7 and stops when the indexing cam 122 presents itself to open LS7.

The deenergization of the expulsion relay K3 sets the system ready for continued compaction by opening K3a and K3c while closing K3b. The limit switch LS8 operated by the rotating platform at the index position deenergizes coil K7 removing the bypass on the first position switch LS9A and turning off the green reset light through LS9B.

Successive sequential compactions of trash are made and extraction cycles completed until the platform indexes through each succeeding container to its starting position. At the starting position, the contact LS9A opens shutting off power to the machine via the contact K5b and causes the operation of the reloading amber light A through K7c.

The stopping of the machine by the opening of switch LS9A and the illumination of the amber reload light A signals to the operator that all of the containers are full and must be replaced with empty ones. In order to do so, the operator may elect to rotate the table at his discretion rather than move around it to remove the containers and he does so by placing the push button switch in manual position. In the manual position, only the contact S2B is closed and the reset portion contact S2C is by-passed to a push button switch FWD which the operator may electively activate to energize the table drive motor 92. When all the containers have been replaced with empty ones, the three way mode switch is reset and the table indexed to the first indexing position as previously noted above so that the green light G is illuminated. At this point, the push button mode switch is then returned to the automatic operation and the machine is ready for a complete operation of compaction and extraction.

For maintenance purposes, an extraction cycle may be initiated without a compaction cycle. For this purpose, a spring return key switch S3 is placed between limit switches LS7 and LS11.

For safety, the relays K5 and K7 are provided with fuses F of suitable amperage size which will interrupt the operating circuits in the event of electrical over-load conditions.

As seen in FIG. 8, a number of modifications can be made to the details of the structure. For example, the exhaust door 62, rather than being reciprocally mounted, may be pivotally mounted to swing outwardly away from the opening 50. As shown, this can be accomplished simply by providing circular door 150 to which is integrally formed an arm 152 pivoted about a vertical axle 154. The arm 152 is secured to an hydraulic piston 156 which is connected to the hydraulic power pack 36 in a similar manner to that previously described. The arm 152 extends radially from the door 150 and the piston 156 is mounted at an angle thereto so that on actuation of the piston, the door can be swung completely from the opening 50.

Other modifications can be made to the turntable itself. For example, it has been found that in many installations, the floor or ground on which the apparatus is placed is very uneven. Consequently, a large problem is posed in levelling the platforms shown in the preferred form. It has been found however that somewhat easier levelling operation may be accomplished by fixing the roller wheels 88 to the base plate 84 rather than fixing them to the platform 78. By doing so, it is easier to shim and level the few rollers themselves rather than either the base or the platform. This shimming operation can be accomplished with the platform unloaded.

The platform may be driven by more rudimentary but expensive drive mechanism comprising a circular gear 160 secured to the periphery of the platform 78 and by a mating meshing pinion gear 162 fixed to the shaft of the electric motor 92. Another embodiment may also employ the electric motor 92 placed in a vertical position and having its friction roller 96 adapted to engage the skirt 98 of the platform 78.

In other respects, the structure and function of the device shown in FIG. 8 may be similar to that shown in the previous drawings.

Since numerous modifications have been detailed in this disclosure, it will be understood that this disclosure is for the purposes of illustrating the principles of the present invention and that it is not limiting in any manner.