Compost Cats to close temporarily

Compost Cats, a composting operation run by University of Arizona (UA) students, will close its facility at the San Xavier Co-op Farm and move to a larger facility. Its temporary closure, anticipated to start in June or July, is adding to the woes of Scraps on Scraps, a small company that picks up plant waste from homes and delivers it to Compost Cats.

In the meantime, there are two other efforts to increase the capacity to divert compostable materials from landfills.

Through the city of Tucson’s FoodCycle program, food scraps from participating restaurants, groceries and other businesses were picked up and delivered to Compost Cats. Material from residents and Scraps on Scraps also fed the operation. The resulting compost was sold in bags or in bulk.

The UA program has outgrown its facility which doesn’t have access to reliable water and electricity. The operation also needs newer and more equipment.

The operation stopped accepting material in March and plans to close once its remaining compost — about 1,000 cubic yards — is sold.

Compost Cats, which hopes to resume in the fall, needs to raise about $1 million to buy equipment, like a water tank to get composting operations running, but the city is unlikely to pay for additional equipment it otherwise wouldn’t use.

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