California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Diversion Study Guide, Appendix I

Conversion Factors: Glass, Plastic, Paper, and Cardboard

Material/Item

Size/Type

Study*

LB

Glass

Glass, broken 1 cubic foot FEECO 80-100
Glass, broken 1 cubic yard FEECO 2,160.00
Glass, crushed 1 cubic foot FEECO 40-50.0
Glass, plate 1 cubic foot FEECO 172
Glass, window 1 cubic foot FEECO 157
Glass, 1 gallon jug each U.S. EPA 2.10-2.80
Glass, beer bottle   U.S. EPA 0.53
Glass, beverage 8 oz 1 bottle U.S. EPA 0.5
Glass, beverage 8 oz 1 case = 24 bottles U.S. EPA 12
Glass, beverage 12 oz 1 case = 24 bottles U.S. EPA 22
Glass, wine bottle   U.S. EPA 1.08

Plastic

Film plastic/mixed, loose 1 cubic yard Tellus 22.55
HDPE film plastics, semi-compacted 1 cubic yard Tellus 75.96
LDPE film plastics, semi-compacted 1 cubic yard Tellus 72.32

HDPE, common beverage containers

Plastic, HDPE juice, 8 oz. 8 oz. U.S. EPA 0.1
Plastic, 1 gallon HDPE jug 1 gallon U.S. EPA 0.33
Plastic, 1 gallon HDPE beverage container milk/juice U.S. EPA 0.19-0.25

PETE, common beverage containers

Plastic, 1 liter PETE beverage bottle w/o cap 1 liter U.S. EPA corr. 0.09
Plastic, PETE water bottle 50 oz. (over 1.5 liters) U.S. EPA 0.12
Plastic, PETE, 2 liter 1 bottle U.S. EPA 0.13

Plastic containers

Plastic, 1 gallon container mayo 1 gallon U.S. EPA 0.42
Plastic, 1/2 gallon plastic beverage cont 1/2 gallon U.S. EPA 0.09
Plastic, beverage container 12 oz. U.S. EPA 0.05

Miscellaneous plastic items

Plastic, bubble wrap 33 gallons U.S. EPA 3
Plastic, bucket 25 gallons U.S. EPA 1.1
Plastic, bucket w/metal handle 5 gallons U.S. EPA 1.9
Plastic, cake decorator boxes each U.S. EPA 0.63
Plastic, grocery bag 100 bags U.S. EPA corr. 0.77
Plastic, HDPE 10-12 fluid oz.   U.S. EPA 0.05
Plastic, HDPE beverage case   U.S. EPA 1.2
Plastic, HDPE bread case   U.S. EPA 1.5
Plastic, HDPE gallon containers (not beverage) 1 gallon U.S. EPA 0.06
Plastic, HDPE (auto) oil container 1 quart size U.S. EPA 0.2
Plastic, pot 1 qt size U.S. EPA 0.25
Plastic, mixed HDPE & PET 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 32
Plastic, pallet, 48" x 48"   U.S. EPA 40
Plastic, sheeting square yard U.S. EPA 1
Plastic, whole, uncompacted PET 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 30-40
Polyethylene, resin pellets 1 cubic foot FEECO 30-35
Polystyrene beads 1 cubic foot FEECO 40
Polystyrene, packaging 33 gallon USEPA 1.5
Styrofoam kernels 1 cubic yard Tellus 6.27
Polystyrene, blown formed foam 1 cubic yard Tellus 9.62
Polystyrene, rigid, whole 1 cubic yard Tellus 21.76
PVC, loose 1 cubic yard Tellus 341.12

Paper

Books, hardback, loose 1 cubic yard Tellus 529.29
Books, paperback, loose 1 cubic yard Tellus 427.5
Egg flats one dozen U.S. EPA 0.12
Egg flats 12"x12" U.S. EPA 0.5
Paper sacks 25# size U.S. EPA 0.5
Paper sacks 50# dry goods U.S. EPA 1
Calendars/books 1 cubic foot FEECO 50
Catalogs 100 pages ledger U.S. EPA 1
Computer printout, loose 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 655
Mixed paper, loose (construction, fax, manila, some chipboard) 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 363.5
Mixed paper, compacted (construction, fax, manila, some chipboard) 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 755
Office paper (white, color, CPO, junk mail) 13 gallon U.S. EPA 10.01
Office paper (white, color, CPO, junk mail) 33 gallon U.S. EPA 25.41
Office paper (white, color, CPO, junk mail) 55 gallon U.S. EPA 42.35
Shredded paper 33 gallons U.S. EPA 8
White ledger paper 12" stack U.S. EPA 12
White ledger #20, 8.5" x 11" 1 ream (500 sheets) U.S. EPA 5
White ledger #20, 8.5"x 14" 1 ream (500 sheets) U.S. EPA 6.4
White ledger w/o CPO, loose 1 cubic yard Tellus 363.51
White ledger, uncompacted stacked 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 400
White ledger, compacted stacked 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 800
Colored message pads 1 carton (144 pads) U.S. EPA 22
Padded envelope 9" x 12" U.S. EPA 0.88
Magazines, 8.5" x 11" 10 units U.S. EPA 3
Manila envelope 1 cubic foot FEECO 37
Newspapers 12"a  stack U.S. EPA 35
Newspapers 1 cubic foot FEECO 38
Newspapers, loose 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 400
Newspapers, stacked 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 875
Phone book Ventura U.S. EPA 4
Paper pulp, stock 1 cubic foot FEECO 60-62.00
Tab cards, uncompacted 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 605
Tab cards, compacted 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 1,275.00
Yellow legal pads 1 case (72 pads) U.S. EPA 38

Chipboard

Chipboard, beverage case 4 pack U.S. EPA 0.1
Chipboard, beverage case 6 pack U.S. EPA 0.2
Chipboard, cereal box average U.S. EPA 0.15
Chipboard, fabric bolt   U.S. EPA 0.69
Paperboard/boxboard/chipboard whole 1 cubic yard Tellus 21.5

OCC

OCC, beverage case 4 six-packs, full case U.S. EPA corr. 0.99
OCC, box, large 48" x 48" x 60" U.S. EPA 4
OCC, box, medium 24" x 24" x 30" U.S. EPA 2.2
OCC, box, small 12" x 12" x 15" U.S. EPA 1.1
OCC, flattened boxes, loose 1 cubic yard Tellus 50.08
OCC, stacked 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 50
OCC, whole boxes 1 cubic yard Tellus 16.64
OCC, uncompacted 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 100
OCC, compacted 1 cubic yard U.S. EPA 400

*Source acronyms used

  • CalRecycle: California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
  • FEECO:  FEECO Incorporated
  • Tellus:  Tellus Institute, Boston Massachusetts
  • U.S. EPA:  United States Environmental Protection Agency (Business Users Guide)

Other conversion factor tables

Construction and Demolition | Organics | Metals | Office Furniture

Appendix I | Table of Contents

Last updated: February 25, 2010
Local Government Library http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LGCentral/Library/
Local Assistance & Market Development: LAMD@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6199