Compost Cats coming to Ajo

February 20, 2016 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Ajo Roping Arena

The Compost Cats, a student-run business at the University of Arizona, will send several people to Ajo on Saturday, Feb. 20.  Bruno Loya, OSHA safety enforcer for the Compost Cats, will advise the Ajo Regional Food Partnership volunteers who are starting a local composting project at the Ajo Roping Arena.  Accompanying Loya will be Anthony Saboni, Ashley Thiel, photographer, and Shelby Hoglund, who is the Cats farm manager and is certified by SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America) in compost facility programs.  

Under an agreement with Why-Ajo-Lukeville-Development, WALD, a small area of land at the roping grounds has been designated as the site for ARFP composting of local hay, manure, brush, and organic scraps.  A supply shed has been moved to the site, which is behind and east of the roping arena.  Windrows of hay and manure are being developed there, some of the rows covered with old shade cloth and weighted with tires.  The big chipper has traveled to the site and a pile of mulch has been started.  

Volunteer organizers plan to make the future compost available to all local gardeners and landscapers at little or no cost.  More volunteers are encouraged to help with the composting and brush chipping (safety training required).  Volunteers are also needed to help install a longer water line from the corrals to the shed.  This ARFP project needs the donation of a small tractor or Bobcat with which to turn the piles.

All are invited to come out to the Ajo Roping Arena on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 20, from noon until 4 p.m. to talk with the Compost Cats and listen to their advice.  Several of the Cats will stay overnight in Ajo, so there will be an afternoon campfire and potluck supper at the composting site. Everyone is welcome!  Bring chairs and food.  Drive north on Well Rd. and keep on going past the landfill and the rifle range.

Organizers of this Ajo Regional Food Partnership project say, “This is a great opportunity for everyone to see the beginning of our composting project, as well as see the very interesting and well-managed roping arena.  You can also meet some friendly horses named Rowdy, Stellar, Cocoa, and the ponies Max and Stubby!”  For more information, call Don and Gayle Weyers, 520-387-6717.

The Univ. of AZ Compost Cats work to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions and increase local food security by diverting food scraps, landscape clippings, and paper from landfills and turning it into a high quality compost for local gardening and landscaping. The Cats work with the San Xavier Co-op Farm, located south of Tucson on the Tohono O’odham Nation.