How much scrap foam do I have?

One of the problems many people have when considering a compactor or densifier for scrap foam is how much foam do they really have?  Since packaging foam is very lightweight and can be very bulky, what appears to be a large quantity may not be so much after all.  Typical polystyrene foam packaging and insulation is usually in the density range of 1 to 2 pound per cubic foot.  What this means is if you have a 12 inch x 12 inch x 12 inch cube of solid foam, it would weigh between 1 and 2 pounds.  Since most packaging foam is not used in a solid block form but is molded into relatively thin designs to protect the product, several cubic feet of polystyrene or polyethylene packaging foam may be required to equal a pound of foam.

Here are a few guidelines for estimating the weight of uncompressed EPS or EPE foam pieces.  (This excludes stacked sheet foam and block foam)

  1. A 53′ trailer load will weigh 1500 – 2000 pounds
  2. A 20 yard roll-off dumpster containing only EPS foam will hold 200 – 300 pounds of EPS
  3. A 12 foot square mound of foam packaging piled 8 feet high will weight about 100 – 150 pounds of EPS

Are you still unsure of your weekly or monthly EPS waste volume? We are happy to give you a hand.  Email us at

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