For organic wastes in water, we measure decomposition through Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). As organic matter decomposes in water, it consumes some of the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) in the water. By measuring the change in DO in water, we can calculate the BOD and how much progress the material has made in its decomposition process. For non-aquatic wastes, we can put them in a closed container and measure the change of gaseous oxygen in that container.
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