The University of Arizona Compost Cats is a largely student-operated program that works to divert food waste, manure and other organic materials from local landfills and transforms them into high-quality compost for local agriculture and landscaping use. Since it started in 2011, Compost Cats has diverted over 20 million pounds of organic waste from businesses and homes, helping Tucson become a more sustainable community.

Compost Cats transitioned to the Office of Sustainability in December 2018 and has been undergoing a significant reorganization and realignment of its core mission and values over the last year. We are excited to launch into a new chapter of Compost Cats in mid-summer to early-fall 2020!

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We're Gearing Up For Some Big Changes!

As many in our network are aware, Compost Cats made the difficult decision to stop accepting all new organic waste inputs in March 2019. We also ceased all sales of our compost in May 2019 and since then, we've been hard at work closing out of our main operational site at San Xavier Cooperative Farm in order to transition the facility to the Los Reales Landfill (LRL). Over the last several months, we have been coordinating closely with the City of Tucson Environmental Services Department to both obtain the necessary environmental permitting and waivers to open a facility at LRL, while also transferring the responsibilities for the operation of the compost facility from Compost Cats to the City of Tucson. This is an exciting move that will allow both partners to maximize their strengths moving forward. 

The City of Tucson expects to open a new facility in mid-summer 2020 and will begin accepting organic material for composting again once open. The City and Compost Cats are currently drafting a new intergovernmental agreement that will pivot Compost Cats toward the University's strengths of education, outreach, and research, without compromising our goals of waste diversion, student empowerment, and greater food security throughout our community. 

Until this new facility at LRL is open, continue to take your compostables to a local community garden. Small amounts of organic waste can be taken to the UArizona Community Garden on 1400 E Mabel St.

To request more information, please contact Compost Cats' Program Manager, Dr. Ilse Rojas, or call 520-621-5653.

We're also working on a new website that should launch by fall 2020, so stay tuned!

We Can Still Use Your Help

As Compost Cats navigates the transition from operator to educator, we will be focusing much more heavily on compost and recycling trainings, K-12 education, community outreach, and work with local partners to increase food security. In order to expand our capacity to provide these services and to continue our innovative and novel approaches to these outreach efforts, we still need your support and the support of the Tucson community!

Please click here to donate or email Trevor Ledbetter, Director for the Office of Sustainability, for more information.