Calculate How Much Garbage, Recyclables, and Compostables Your Facility May Generate

Solid Waste Generation Guidelines

Estimate how much garbage, recyclables and compostables your facility may generate. First, determine the total estimated solid waste generation of your facility by using the following formulas: 

 Classification   Building  Type Quantities Generated


No kitchen facilities
Single/No children

.06 – .12 C.Y. per unit per week
.35- .46 C.Y. per unit per week
.46-.58 C.Y. per unit per week

Commercial Buildings

Department Store, Supermarkets and Drugstores

5.00 C.Y. per 10,000 Sq. Ft. per week
7.00 C.Y. per 2,500 Sq. Ft. per week
7.00 C.Y. per 1,250 Sq. Ft. per week
7.00 C.Y. per 2,000 Sq. Ft. per week

Hotels & Motels

High Occupancy (90%)
High Occupancy (90%)

.50 C.Y. per room w/ restaurant per week
.24 C.Y. per room w/o restaurant per week


Nursing Homes
Retirement Homes

7.00 C.Y. per 20 persons per week
7.00 C.Y. per 20 persons per week


Family Style

1.00 C.Y. per 250 meals per week 


Grade Schools, High Schools and Universities

7.00 C.Y. per 8 rooms per week
7.00 C.Y. per 10 rooms per week
Audit required

Note: Waste generation guidelines include total materials (garbage, recycle, compost) discarded. These guidelines are approximate and can be helpful when observation of the current service level is not possible, or, in pre-construction planning. Recycling and compost services may reduce the service level needed for garbage collections. To determine the amount of each commodity (garbage, recycle and compost), apply the below percentages to the total solid waste generation estimated above. This will provide you with volume estimation, in cubic yards, for each commodity.

Material Category    
Commercial Multi-Family  
Compostables  35% 44%



 40%  42%



 25% 14%

Helpful Conversion Table for Various Containers

1 gallon……………………..0.134 cu. ft.

27 cu. ft.…………………… 1.00 cu. yd.

1 cu. yd……………………..203 gallons 

1 cubic yard =~(7) 32-gallon carts

             ~(5) 45-gallon carts

             ~(3) 64-gallon carts