California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Solid Waste Characterization Database

Residential Waste Characterization

Knowing the types and amounts of materials (such as paper, glass or food leftovers) that residences typically dispose can help anyone planning residential waste management programs.

The residential waste composition data collected as part of the 1999 Statewide Waste Characterization Study has been incorporated into the Board's waste characterization database. Jurisdictions now have the capability to obtain both single-family and multi-family disposal estimates to assist in planning their residential waste management programs.

Per capita disposal rates were determined for each of the five regions defined in the study. A statewide per-unit disposal rate for multifamily dwellings was also determined. Combining the appropriate regional per capita estimate with a jurisdiction's population provides an estimated total residential disposed tonnage.  Multiplying a jurisdiction's number of multifamily units by the statewide per-unit rate provides an estimate of that sector's contribution to the residential disposed waste stream. Subtracting the multifamily estimate from the total residential tonnage previously obtained results in an estimate of the single family component.

Jurisdiction population and multifamily unit numbers were derived from 1998 State of California Department of Finance data. Jurisdictions may wish to do their own calculations using their estimated population and multifamily unit figures if they feel they are more accurate. Please be aware other data limitations, such as climate or economic development, may affect your results.

Also, please see waste generation rates for residences and businesses.

Last updated: October 17, 2002
Solid Waste Characterization, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/WasteChar/
Nancy Carr: Nancy.Carr@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6216