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The figures in the table below are rough estimates of the weight of certain volumes of waste construction materials.

Actual weights will depend on how tightly or loosely the material is packed (density), so these figures only provide a general indication. For example, the density of solid steel is 7,800 kg per cubic metre, but the density of metal construction waste is only 63 kg per cubic metre. The reason for this difference is that most steel construction waste consists of items such as long-run roofing, wrapping straps and reinforcing mesh, and these have huge amounts of air around them when dumped into a bin and therefore create a much larger volume than their weight would suggest.

The figures in the table are derived from field measurements made in North America and are very approximate, but they are the best available data on the densities of materials in construction waste.

Estimated weight per cubic metre for different material types 


Base information sourced from Residential Construction Waste Management - A Builder's Field Guide - How to Save Money and Landfill Waste. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Centre, Maryland, 1997.