By Cassie McClure
Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 2/26/21
Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) resumes its free residential and commercial distribution of its Class A+ compost, which had been paused due to COVID-19. Residents can receive five buckets per trip, and while they are encouraged to bring their own buckets, empty and filled buckets are available for pickup. However, residents are asked to wear masks and social distance when they arrive at Jacob A. Hands Wastewater Treatment Facility (JHWWTF).
LCU's “black gold” compost contains micronutrients like zinc, manganese, copper, and boron – all beneficial for plant growth and sometimes lacking in local soil, even in the fertile Rio Grande Valley.
The compost is produced at JHWWTF, resulting from solids removed from the wastewater treatment process. The dewatered biosolids are transported from the JHWWTF and dried on a five-acre cement floor at the LCU West Mesa Wastewater Treatment Facility. The compost “cooks” at a temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off harmful bacteria.
Residents can pick up five-gallon buckets of compost from the JHWWTF, 2851 W. Amador Ave., during regular business hours. If residents need more than for a normal-sized garden plot, perhaps for farming, truckloads of compost can be pick up from the compost facility directly at the LCU West Mesa location and loaded with a front loader.
For both the Amador and West Mesa locations, please call the JHWWTF at 575-528-3597 to set an appointment for pickup.
LCU can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: LCU Crew Leader Wastewater Anthony Archibeque gets more buckets of Class A+ biosolid compost ready for customers. With Doña Ana County in the yellow zone, LCU can help residents get their gardens ready for spring with free compost.