You are here

Home

Volume-to-Weight Conversion Table

(The following Appendix is an excerpt from the EPA document , Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste; EPN530-K-92-004; November 1993. Sources follow the table as in the original Appendix.)

Appendix D

VOlume-to-Weight 
Conversion Table 

The vOlume-to-weight conversion table presented on the following pages is a compilation of several sources. Materials converted from volume to weight include paper (high-grade and other) , glass, plastic, metals, organics, and other materials (e.g. , tires and oil).

It is important to note that although the weight (density) figures presented here are useful for determining rough estimates, they will not be as useful when precise measurements are required. Differences in the way a material is handled, processed, or in the amount of moisture present can make substantial differences in the amount a particular material weighs per specified volume. Because of these differences, it wi ll be important to actually sort and weigh materials in your program whenever precise measurements are needed (e.g., recycling contract agreements).

Category I Material 
ulc = uncompactedl 
compacted & baled
Volume Estimated 
Weight 
(In pounds)
High-Grade Paper Computer paper    
  Uncompacted, stack 1 cu.yd 655
  Compacted / baled 1 cu.yd 1,310
  1 case 12800 sheets 42
  White Ledger.    
  (u)stacked (c) / stacked 1 cu. yd. 375-465/755-925
  (u)crumpled / crumpled 1 cu. yd. 110-205/325
  Ream of 20# bond; 8-1/2 x 11 1 ream = 500 sheets 5
  Ream of 20# bond; 8-1/2 x 11 1 ream = 500 sheets 6.4
  White ledger pads 1 case = 72 pads 38
  Tab Cards:    
  Uncompacted 1 cu. yd. 605
  Compacted I baled 1 cu. yd. 1,215-1 ,350
Category Material 
ulc = uncompacted / & compacted baled
Volume Estimated 
Weight 

(In pounds)
Other Paper Cardboard (Corrugated):    
  Uncompacted 1 cu. yd. 50-150
  Compacted 1 cu. yd. 300-500
  Baled 1 cu. yd. 700-1,100
  Newspaper    
  Uncompacted 1 cu. yd. 360-505
  Compacted 1 cu. yd. 720-1 ,000
  12" stack    
  Miscellaneous Paper:    
  Yellow legal pads 1 case - 72 pads 38
  Colored message pads 1 carlon = 144 pads 22
  SeIf-carbon forms; 8-1/2 x 11 1 ream - 500 sheets 50
  Mixed Ledger/Office paper    
  Flat (u/c) 1 cu. yd. 380/755
  Crumpled (u/c) 1 cu. yd. 110-205/610
  Refillable Whole Bottles:    
  Refillable beer bottles 1 case - 24 bottles 14
  Refiliable soft drink bottles 1 case - 24 bottles 22
  8 oz. glass container 1 case - 24 bottles 12
  Botties:    
  Whole 1 cu. yd. 500-700
  Semi-crushed 1 cu. yd. 1 ,000-1 ,800
  Crushed (mechanically) 1 cu. yd. 1 ,800-2,700
  Uncruhed to manually 55-gallon drum 300
Category Material 
ulc = uncompactedl / compacted baled
Volume Estimated 
Weight
 (In pounds)
Plastic PET (Soda Bottles),    
  Whole bottles, uncompacted 1 cu. yd. 30-40
  Whole bottles, compacted 1 cu. yd. 515
  Whole bottles, uncompacted gaylord 40-53
  Baied 30" x 62 500-550
  Granulated gaylord 700-750
  8 bottles (2-liter size) -- 1
  HDPE (Dairy):    
  Whole, uncompacted 1 cu. yd. 24
  Whole, compacted 1 cu. yd. 270
  Baied 32' x 60" 400-500
  HDPE (Mixed)    
  Baled 32' x 60" 400-500
  Granulated Semi-load 42,.000
  Odd Plastic    
  uncompacted 1 cu. yd. 50
  Compacted I baled 1 cu. yd. 400-700
  Mixed PET & HOPE (Dairy).    
  Whole, uncompacted 1 cu. yd. 32
Metals Aluminum (Cans).    
  Whoie 1 cu. yd 50-75
  Compacted (manually) 1 cu. yd 250-430
  Uncompacted 1 full grocery bag
1 case = 24 cans 
1 1.5 
0.9
  Ferrous (tin-coated steel cans):    
  Whole 1 cu. yd. 150
  Flattened 1 cu. yd. 850
  Whoie 1 case = 6 cans 22
Category Material 
ulc = uncompactedl 
compacted & baled
volume Estimated Weight (In pounds)
Organics Yard trimmings':    
  Laves (uncompacted ) 1 cu. yd. 200-250
  Laves (compacted ) 1 cu. yd. 300-450
  Laves vacummed 1 cu. yd. 350
  Grass clippings (uncompacted ) 1 cu. yd. 350-450
  Grass clippings (compacted) 1 cu. yd. 550-1 ,500
  Finished compost 1 cu. yd. 600
  Scrap Wood.    
  Pallets -- 30-100 (40 avg.)
  Wood chips 1 cu. yd. 500
  Food Waste.    
  Solid I liquid fats 55-gallon drum 400-410
Other Materials Tires    
  Car 1 tire 12-20
  Truck 1 tire 60-100
  0il (Used Motor Oil) 1 gallon 7

'Density of yard trimmings is highly variable depending on moisture content

Conversion Table Sources

Brown University Summer Internship Program, Guide for Preparing Commercial Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling Plans, prepared for Ocean State Cleanup and Recycling (OSCAR) , Providence, Rhode Island, 1988.

Draft National Recycling Coalition Measurement Standards and Reporting Guidelines presented to NRC membership, October 31 , 1989.

Fenedick, AI Jr., Kimberly Henderson, and Jay Birgamini , Office Recycling Handbook, Region 5, USEPA and General Services Administration, 1990.

Hunt, Robert, Franklin Associates, personal communication, April 18, 1991 .

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Recycling. Steps in Organizing a Municipal Recycling Program, 1988.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Recycling: A Planning Guide for Communities, Division of Solid Waste, January 1990.

Reynolds , John, Business Waste Reduction Audit Handbook, Spokane Regional Council , Spokane, Washington,February 1989.

R.W. Beck and Associates, Commercial Waste Reduction Audit Manual, prepared for the City of Seattle Solid Waste Utility Under the Environmental Allowance Program, January 1989.

Scheinberg, Anne and Dee Catherman, Business Recycling Manual, prepared for Westchester County Association, Inc., White Plains, New York, November 1989.

Conversion factors are adapted from Information In: "Recycling Is Everybody's Business", Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, April 1989 and "Recycling Manual : Oneida and Herkimer Counties Solid Waste Management Project", William F. Cosulich Associates, 1988.

REFUSE GENERATION TABLE

(For estimating purposes only - survey should be conducted to determine volume of waste generated. BE CERTA TO REDUCE PROJECTED WASTE VOLUME BY THE AMOUNT OF MATERIAL BEING RECYCLED.)

Building type Pounds Per Day Equivalent Approx. 
Loose Cubic Yards
Apartment 2.5# 1 person 
or 
4#1 person 
or 
8# 1 unit
.025 
.040 
.080
Cafeteria 1# 1 meal served .005
Department Store 75# corrugated 1 $1000 sales 1.500
  15# other waste 1 $1000 sales .060
Discount Store 60# corrugated 1 $1000 sales 1.200
  10# other waste 1 $1000 sales .040
Fast Food 200# 1 $1000 sales 2.500
Hospital 16# 1 occupied bed .100
Hotel - First Class - Medium Class 3.2# 1 room + 2# 1 meal serve .030 + .010
  1.7# 1 room +1.2# 1 meal served .020 + .006
Mfg. -100 - 400 employees 3# 1 person) Survey should be made .020
- 400 - 3000 employees 7# 1 person) this infomnation for screening only .047
Motel 2# 1 room .020
Nursing and Retirement Home 5# 1 person .030
Office 1# 11 00 sq. ft. .009
Restaurant 1.5# 1 meal served .008
School .5# 1 person without cafeteria .005
  1# 1 person with cafeteria .010
Shopping Mall 25#1 leasable 100sq. ft. .180
Supermarket 100# corrugated 1 $1000 sales 2.000
  65# other waste 1 $1000 sales .260
Warehouse 1# / 100 sq. ft. .020
CONVERSION TABLE 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet or 46" ,656 cubic inches 
1 gallon = 231 cubic inches 
1 - 20 gallon can = .1 cubic yards 
1 - 30 gallon can = .15 cubic yards 
1 - 55 gallon can = .27 cubic yards