Answer: 7.1 pounds

In 2009, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology began attaching transmitter chips to thousands of pieces of ordinary garbage. They tossed this "smart trash" into the bin, according to The Wall Street Journal, sat back and watched the path our garbage often takes. Of this 7.1 pounds, for instance, less than one-quarter gets recycled. On average, American communities spend more money on waste management than on fire protection, parks and recreation, libraries or schoolbooks, according to U.S. Census data on municipal budgets.