Compost Cats is an entirely student-run project to convert food and green waste from the University of Arizona and other local businesses into a valuable soil amendment, help reduce the carbon footprint of the university, and save the university money by reducing landfill fees. Compost will be donated to campus gardens and landscapes and to community and school garden projects in Tucson.
The Rincon Heights Neighborhood has teamed up with the UA to build a 60-bed community garden that doubles as an outdoor, hands-on learning laboratory for students. With the help of two UA interns, the UA Masters of Public Administration Student Association, and the UA Compost Cats, neighborhood residents have prepared 36 garden beds, planted two fig trees and acquired a cache of shovels and other gardening tools.
Building on the success of a test crop of gourmet mushrooms grown in 2013, UA students and researchers are partnering with Tucson Village Farm and the UA Controlled Environment Agricultural Center to produce large quantities of mushrooms from discarded landscaping and consumer waste. Together, they are creating a simple production-recycling program at the UA that can easily be copied by anyone interested in converting this type of waste into tasty and nutritious fungi.
This project involves University of Arizona students harvesting edible fruits, nuts and seed pods from trees in the campus arboretum. The goal is to promote the many benefits of trees and show the UA community how the urban landscape can contribute to food security and sustainability. The organizers will encourage interested UA students and members of the Tucson community to come out and help with harvests.
The UA Community and School Garden Program hired a Graduate Research Assistant to develop and conduct a systematic assessment of the Garden Program’s impact on community participants and UA interns. Participating interns observed and evaluated their peers in consultation with each other, the graduate assistant, and faculty instructors. The quantifiable data this system produces hopes to secure outside funding from the likes of the National Science Foundation and the William T.
Through the UA Community and School Garden Program, UA interns use garden-based lessons to help K-12 students understand abstract ideas like the carbon cycle and photosynthesis, and larger topics ranging from nutrition to food security and social justice. In the summer of 2013 eight interns attended a sustainability-in-education summer institute in New York.
The community food bank helps set up gardens for low income families in their backyard. The Compost Cats donate their compost to these gardens.
The Compost Cats promote composting and recylcing at the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival. It is a chance to learn more about composting habits and become more aware of sustainability.
The Compost Cats promote composting and recylcing at the Oro Valley Meet Yourself Festival. It is a chance to learn more about composting habits and become more aware of sustainability.
The Compost Cats compost the food from Spring Fling.