Compost Technician

Opportunity Type: 
Location of Opportunity: 
Both On and Off Campus
Host Department/Organization: 

Compost Cats

Opportunity Description: 

Job Summary

The UA CALS Compost Cats are looking for employees with diverse skills and interests for two part time positions. Compost Cats is a student-operated program experiencing rapid growth of its composting operation and community education efforts through partnerships with the City of Tucson, San Xavier Co-op Farm, Santa Cruz County, local businesses, and K-12 schools. Compost Cats also serves as an environmental leadership training program, an influential regional presence, and a prominent symbol of student initiative, engagement, and achievement. Students with creativity, organizational skills, maturity, and environmental commitment are welcome and encouraged to apply. All current and future employees will contribute to further developing our green business model and turning would-be landfill waste into high-quality soil amendment products. Job duties will be performed on UA main campus, at our composting operation located at San Xavier Co-op Farm, and potentially at our planned expansion operation in Santa Cruz County (some transportation provided).

This is a part-time position, not to exceed 20 hours/week except on rare, special occasions. A regular work schedule will be determined, but every effort will be made to accommodate students’ academic schedules. Due to significant training required of new hires, student applicants must have at least two semesters remaining to be considered for positions. Some weekend availability for working events strongly preferred.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Although some duties will not be performed regularly by all compost technicians, all compost technicians will be required to learn and be proficient in the following duties:

● Operate heavy equipment, including a manual transmission stake truck, skip loader, tractor, water truck, and compost screener (training provided) to dump, turn, water, monitor and otherwise efficiently maintain a large windrow composting system

● Take part in educational events, such as “compost coaching” at campus restaurants near the outset of each semester, the downtown cultural event Tucson Meet Yourself each October, and at other events as assigned

● Attend weekly general staff meetings as well as other assigned meetings

● Work with a partner to pick up and deliver truckloads of food scraps and other organic materials from Tucson businesses to the San Xavier Co-op Farm

● Present on details of the Compost Cats program, waste reduction, and related food system issues at participating business orientations, school presentations, conferences and other events

Secondary Duties and Responsibilities

While Compost Technicians will not primarily fulfill the duties of Outreach and/or Marketing and Sales Specialists, all Compost Cats staff members are expected to go through training and be willing to do so as needed. These responsibilities include:

● Outreach to retail outlets (nurseries, hardware stores, farmer’s markets, etc…) for compost sales

● Coordinating, invoicing, and carrying out compost sales at San Xavier Co-op Farm, farmer’s markets, and other outlets

● Developing both online and print educational and sales materials related to Compost Cats and its activities

● Widespread distribution of educational and marketing materials online and in physical locations

● Attend secondary meetings focused on specific and individual duties

Job Requirements and Desired Skills

● Must be a self-starter with punctuality and focus in both independent and group work

● Must possess a valid driver’s license and good driving record.

● Available to work weekend events regularly

● Should possess strong written and oral communication skills and an outgoing, friendly personality for interacting with customers, students, faculty, administrators, co-workers, and the general public

● An environmentally conscious, entrepreneurial spirit

● Strong organizational skills

● Familiarity with a range of social media marketing and networking tools

● Strong research skills

Physical Demands

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job:

● Compost Technician work involves walking, standing, sitting, and stooping; employees must have the ability to perform moderately strenuous physical labor.

● Employees may be required to push, pull, or lift 50 pounds or more in cooperation with one other staff member.

● The noise level in the work environment is usually moderately quiet in the office and moderately loud in the field.

Paid Position: 
How to apply: 

To apply, please send 1) a resume, 2) a cover letter describing relevant experience and expressing why you feel you would be a good fit for the position, and 3) your interest ranking form (see below) to Chet Phillips at AND to by December 1, 2017.


Compost Cats Interest Ranking Form

Compost Cats student staff gain valuable job experience in a diverse range of subject areas, but not every student staff member is responsible for the same tasks or has the same skills. To properly gauge how your interests and skills fit our program needs, please rank the following 6 focus areas from 1 to 6, with your top area of interest ranked as 1st and so on.

Keep in mind that, if hired, you will be asked to take part in many of these activities, but we still would like to know where your preferences lie and what you think you would be best at.

-Sales and Marketing

Role: Research and organize sales opportunities, locations and prices; manage our brand; act as primary contact for potential customers, etc.


Role: Organize educational and outreach events, including large public events, school presentations, farm operation tours, partnerships with high school and college classes, etc.

-General Operations and Maintenance

Role: Manage and coordinate daily operations, including pick-up logistics and scheduling, equipment management, supply purchasing, etc.; coordinate with City of Tucson Environmental Services and serve as a regular contact between City of Tucson and Compost Cats

-Farm Operations

Role: Manage farm operations and layout; research and implement new composting methods; manage farm work logistics and issues; coordinate with San Xavier farm crew and serve as primary contact between San Xavier Co-op Farm and Compost Cats


Role: Keep financial records; make income statements, balance sheets, financial projections; manage invoicing for sales and participating businesses, etc.

-Business Development

Role: Plan future paths for Compost Cats under a green business model, including coordinating efforts with San Xavier, City of Tucson and other long-term partnerships; pursue and maintain alumni relations; write and submit grant applications and proposals.