Recycled or New

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Grade Levels:

Does recycled paper break down faster than new paper?

Possible Hypotheses:
Recycled paper will/will not break down faster than new paper.

Piece of recycled paper
Piece of new paper the same size and thickness of the recycled paper
Small plot of soil


  1. Dig a hole about two inches deep and large enough to lay the pieces of paper side by side. Place the pieces in the hole and bury them with the same amount of soil on top. Mark the plot of soil.
  2. After one month, uncover the samples and examine them. Record your observations.

Analysis and Conclusion:
Which type of paper decomposed faster? Do you think you would get the same result with recycled plastic, glass or aluminum?

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