Soaked, shredded paper is a good carbon source for composting. Black and white newspaper is safe, but colored paper usually contains dangerous substances.
Paper is a good ground cover to kill weeds or grass. Place a layer of paper products up to an inch thick. Cover it with mulch or soil and sometimes even sow seeds on it. In a year's time, the roots below the paper are dead and the paper is ready to be composted or simply left where it will become part of the soil. The soil underneath has become easy to dig.
Some folks cultivate certain edible mushrooms (oyster mushrooms, etc.) in shredded newspaper in plastic trash bags- kind of like edible composting - the fungi degrade the cellulose and you can eat their fruiting bodies.
Shredded paper also makes a good mulch.
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