Compost Cats is a student run compost organization based out of The University of Arizona (the school’s mascot is a wildcat, hence the name).
Since its founding in 2011, the group has diverted more than 16 million pounds of food waste from landfills and converted it into soil-enriching compost.
The group collects excess food from every restaurant on campus and from dining hall kitchens. They also have bins set up for students to deposit leftovers. They’ve also partnered with the City of Tucson to pick up food from 56 grocery stores.
All of the leftover food is brought to the Compost Cat’s farm, which sits on the San Xavier Coop Farm which is part of the Tohono O’odham nation.
In exchange for the use of the land, Compost Cats gives 20% of the finished product to the farm to incorporate into its crops. They give another 10-15% to The Community Food Bank of Tucson. The remaining 65-70% is sold. Food scrap compost goes for $40 per cubic yard.
Compost Cats takes volunteers from other campus groups, but relies on 17 student employees for its full time food recycling efforts.
Compost Cats does more than treat the symptoms of food waste, they go straight to the source of the problem, teaching people about how they can reduce food waste.
The Compost Cats have been recognized nationally by the EPA, and their Food Recovery Challenge.
Compost Cats is a proud member of the Tucson community and they love to see gardens flourish with their product. They keep a limited amount of compost for donation and they donate to organizations that will make the highest positive community impact through their gardening project.
Compost Cats is a student run program that began in January 2011 and has already converted over 10,000,000 lbs of food and green waste into valuable soil amendments for landscapes and gardens. In addition to waste from the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center, they gather waste from a growing list of local businesses as well. They have recently partnered with the City of Tucson, which performs waste hauling.
Compost Cats seeks to maintain a vigorous compost donation program to worthy causes, while developing soil amendment products for wholesale and retail markets.
Their mission is to divert food waste from landfills and turn garbage into gardens. The success of the Compost Cats/City of Tucson/San Xavier Coop Farm program is rooted in the meaningful partnerships nurtured between all three partners and the wider community they serve.