Read more about the Waste Calculator here.




  • Bulk Waste is excluded from the calculator and storage for this should be provided for commercial and residential occupancies.
  • Commercial calculator does not account for streams which may or may not be generated depending on occupancy such as e-waste, textiles, grease, oil, industrial waste. Storage should be provided for  these additional streams as relevant.
  • Strongly recommended equipment is always at double the suggested equipment threshold
  • Container recommendations and volume equipment for residential occupancies are based on DSNY rules
  • Container and bin sizes are based on the infographics (‘Waste Bins in Buildings’ and ‘20-40 cu yd containers and 1-8 cu yd containers’ and in the Zero Waste Design Guidelines
  • Area taken up by bags stacked up is assumed to be similar to the volume/SF as tilt trucks or 64 gallon wheeled bins, at 0.05 cu yd / sq ft
  • When a baler is used for MGP, we have not accounted for the separate storage for glass required
  • *If compostable dishware is used then the volume of organic waste will be much larger than calculated. With large volumes a 35 cu yd compactor should be considered.
  • ** This is the residual  organic waste that can’t go in the equipment
  • *** For residential occupancies a vertical compactor is recommended over 12 units per code


Bramidan, “Balers,”

CalRecycle, “2014 Generator-Based Characterization of Commercial Sector Disposal and Diversion in California,” September 10, 2015,

City of New York, Department of Sanitation, “2013 NYC Curbside Waste Characterization Study,”

City of New York, Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination, CEQR: City Environmental Quality Review, Technical Manual (NY, City of New York: 2014),

City of New York, Department of Sanitation, “New York City Commercial Solid Waste Study and Analysis, 2012 Summary Report,” August, 2015,

City of New York, Department of Sanitation, “2015 NYC Organics Collection Report,” 22,

City of New York, Department of Sanitation, “Annual Report: New York City Municipal Refuse and Recycling Statistics: Fiscal Year 2016,”

Marathon Equipment, “Compaction Products,”

Toter, “Waste & Recycling Carts” (Statesville, NC: 2016)

US Census Bureau, “Quick Facts: New York,”

US EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, “Volume-to-Weight Conversion Factors,” April, 2016,

Next Section: Acknowledgements →