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bacteria (bak TIHR ee uh) — organism made of a single cell, invisible unless seen through a microscope

biodegradable (bye oh di GRAY duh buhl) — something that can be broken down and rot

chemical (KEM uh kuhl) — substance used in chemistry

compost (KOM pohst) — kitchen and garden waste left to decompose

decompose (dee kuhm POSE) — when an animal or plant breaks down into small parts and releases nutrients from the waste

ecosystem (EE koh siss tuhm) — community of plants and animals

environment (en VYE ruhn muhnt) — natural surroundings

food chain (food chayn) — transferring food energy from one animal or plant to another

fungi (FUHNG gye) — organisms that live off other animals

habitat (HAB uh tat) — a place where animals or plants live

hazardous (HAZ ur duhss) — dangerous

incinerator (in SIN uh ray tur) — a large oven where waste is burned

mold (mohld) — a type of fungus

nutrient (NOO tree uhnt) — food that animals and plants need

organic matter (or GAN ik MAT ur) — natural waste that decomposes

organism (OR guh niz uhm) — any living thing

recycle (ree SYE kuhl) — to make a new object out of an old one

scavenger (SKAV uhnj ur) — an animal that eats the flesh of dead animals

toxic (TOK sik) — poisonous

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsRot and Decay