UA Compost Program Goes Citywide

Not only does composting food scraps make desert gardening easier (check out these tips), it also dramatically cuts waste and landfill buildup. A new partnership between the City of Tucson and the University of Arizona plans to turn some of that garbage into gardens. As of June 30th, the city will begin picking up food scraps and other organic waste from more than a dozen Tucson businesses and dropping it off with the University of Arizona’s amazing Compost Cats team. “We then distribute about 10 percent of that to the Community Food Bank’s backyard gardening program for low income families,” said Chester Phillips, the Project Director for Compost Cats. The Cats donate some of their compost to local school garden programs or sell it in bulk and in bags to the public. Some of the businesses participating in the pilot program include:

  • Speedway Whole Foods: 3360 E Speedway Blvd
  • Raging Sage: 2458 N Campbell Ave
  • Beyond Bread: 3026 N Campbell Ave
  • Bentley’s: 1730 E Speedway Blvd
  • Wilko: 943 E University Blvd
  • Food Coop: 412 N 4th Ave
  • Food for Ascension Café: 330 E 7th St
  • Caridad Community Kitchen: 845 N Main Ave

The partnership is on a one-year trial basis, but if it works, residential garbage pickup in Tucson might someday look a little more like San Francisco

Nina is a Creative Nonfiction MFA candidate at the University of Arizona, a food writer and a recipe addict.