When I taught nature writing, I used to have students take the "Where You At?" quiz originally published in CoEvolution Quarterly and reprinted in Stephanie Fox's Whatever Happened to Ecology?
Question 8 reads, "Where does your garbage ultimately go?"
Now researchers are using tracking-chip technology to answer that question on a bottle by paper cup by aluminum can level.
“There is this hidden world of trash, and there are ramifications to the choices that people make,” [Brett] Stav [of Seattle Public Utilities] said. “People just take their trash and put it on the curb and they forget about it and don’t think about all the time and energy and money put into disposing of it.”