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Decomposition Dig

By 5smith
  • Problem

    Problem
    What are the decomposition rates of different items?
  • Hypothesis

    Hypothesis
    Which item will be decomposed the most? What percent of each item will be decomposed?
  • Materials and Equipment

    Materials and Equipment
    For our project we mainly used a shovel, yellow tape, and wooden stakes.
  • Procedures

    Procedures
    We buried the items about 6 inches under the ground and put stakes in front of our items.
  • Styrofoam

    Styrofoam
    Styrofoam can be recycled into a different type of material but right now there isn't a large market for recycling styrofoam. The best thing we can do with styrofoam besides recycle it is to reuse it. Ray McInitre invented styrofoam during World War 2 and is currently used for many things such as drink cups, plates and packaging.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was fairly nice. It was around 40 degrees in the morning and got up to about 70 degrees. It was pretty windy with no rain.
  • Styrofoam Conclusion

    Styrofoam Conclusion
    The styrofoam did not decompose very much. I would have to say it only decomposed about 10%. We unburied the styrofoam on 5/11/11. I thought it was going to decompose at least about 50%.
  • Aluminum Foil

    Aluminum Foil
    Americans recycle roughly 65-70% of aluminum they use in their house, but that is mainly cans and not foil. We throw away thousands of tons of foil every year. We don't realize that aluminum is about 100% recyclable. It takes 95 % less energy to make aluminum from recycled aluminum, versus using bauxite ore.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was very windy and was pretty cold. There was no wind and not much humidity.
  • Aluminum Foil Conclusion

    Aluminum Foil Conclusion
    The aluminum foil did not decompose at all. We unburied the foil on 5/11/11. I did not think it would decompose at all.
  • Sun Chips Bag

    Sun Chips Bag
    These new biodegradable Sun Chips bag is said to decompose in as little as 14 weeks! Most biodegradable bags just break down into smaller pieces but these bags are made from a biopolymer resin made from plant sugar called polylactic acid.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was chilly in the mornings but warmed up a lot in the afternoons. It was very windy with no rain and it wasn't very humid.
  • Sun Chips Bag Conclusion

    Sun Chips Bag Conclusion
    The Sun Chips bag only decomposed about 20%. We unburied the Sun Chips bag on 5/11/11. On the bag it says it takes about 14 weeks to decompose 100%. I thought it would've decomposed about 60%.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was pretty warm except for Friday which was very cold and very windy. There was not much humidity with no rain.
  • Regular Chips Bag

    Regular Chips Bag
    Normal chips bags are not recyclable because first of all, the kind of material they are made of cannot be recycled and second of all, the bags are very oily.
  • Regular Chips Bag Conclusion

    Regular Chips Bag Conclusion
    The regular chips bag barely even decomposed. I would have to say it only decomposed about 5%. We unburied the chips bag on 5/11/11. I didn't think it would decompose very much at first.
  • Apple

    Apple
    You can't really recycle apples, but you can reuse them by feeding them to your animals. In 2005, there were about 55 million tons of apples grown worldwide. The apple tree came from Western Asia and is still found there today.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was fairly warm with cold mornings. There was a little bit of rain (which we needed very badly) and it was pretty humid.
  • Apple Conclusion

    Apple Conclusion
    The apple decomposed quite a bit, probably about 95%. We unburied the apple on 5/11/11. I thought that the apple was going to decompose the most, and it did.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was fairly nice. It was pretty warm except for the mornings when it was pretty chilly. There was a lot of rain and there was a little bit of humidity.
  • Paper

    Paper
    Paper needs to be recycled and it can be recycled because paper is made from 90% wood. In the US alone we ar using more than 68 million tons of paper each year. We are cutting down our trees way faster than we can grow them. Paper was invented in China in the early 2nd Century B.C.
  • Paper Conclusion

    Paper Conclusion
    The paper did not decompose at all. We unburied the paper on 5/11/11. I did not think that the paper was going to decompose at all.
  • Cotton

    Cotton
    In 2009 each resident of the United States created 4.3 pounds of waste per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Reusing common items such as cotton rags helps to reduce the amount of trash we throw away each day. Recycling and reusing materials reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and put them to good use. There are various options for utilizing old cotton rags.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was pretty hot. There was a lot of wind, a little bit of rain, and llots of humidity.
  • Cotton Conclusion

    Cotton Conclusion
    The cotton didn't decompose at all. We unburied the cotton on 5/11/11. At the beginning of the nine weeks I didn't think that the cotton would decompose at all.
  • Orange

    Orange
    Many people use orange peels for cooking, insect repellant, a room freshener, brown sugar, to protect your plants from cats and dogs, and you can even make your garbage disposal smell fresh by just dropping an orange peel in it and grinding it up.In 2008 Florida growers produced 71 percent of the entire output of U.S. oranges, amounting to $1.5 billion.
  • Weather

    Weather
    The weather for this week was hot. The average temperature was probably about 85 degrees. It was pretty windy and there was a lot of rain on Friday. It was also very humid on most days.
  • Orange Conclusion

    Orange Conclusion
    The orange decomposed about 85%. We unburied the orange on 5/11/11. I thought that the orange and the apple would both decompose about the same amount and they did.