Does the HOTBIN Need a Power Source?

Does the HOTBIN Need a Power Source?

The HOTBIN does not require an external power source.

How Does it Work Then? Where Does the Heat Come From?

HOTBIN is an aerobic composter relying on oxygen being supplied to thermophilic bacteria as they break down waste, producing heat as a bi-product of the bacterial activity.

Compost aeration diagram

Where Does the Bacteria Come From? Do I Need to Add It?

No, you do not need to add any additional bacteria other than your waste. Accelerators offer no benefit in the HOTBIN.

When fresh waste is added to the HOTBIN, it contains a natural population of bacteria, this bacteria digests the new waste material producing heat as a bi-product of bacterial activity. The addition of bulking agent creates air pockets in the waste ensuring oxygen is able to circulate freely inside and  keep bacteria happy.

If you wish, when starting the HOTBIN, you can add a handful of old compost to inoculate the pile but its not a requirement.

How Does the HOTBIN Stay Hot Inside?

The HOTBIN is made from expanded polypropylene, a material with superior insulation properties which retains the heat created by bacteria. As a result, internal temperatures can reach between 40-60°c and will be sustained so long as the HOTBIN continues to be fed fresh waste.

This heat accelerates the decomposition (composting) process allowing far more waste types to be added. Items which are traditionally forbidden in a cold composting pile such as cooked food, bones, meat, pet waste and weeds can all be safely added to the HOTBIN, along with the usual garden waste and kitchen peelings. Far less goes to landfill.

So How Long Does it Take?

Mulching grade compost to be produced in around 30 days and a nutrient rich, organic compost in 90 days.


Happy Bacteria Require:

Composting Bacteria


Compost Food Sources      


New waste provides a food source bacteria to break down and produce heat. Waste is digested at different speeds which will affect the speed of heat released by the bacteria.

Bacteria require water      


Bacteria require water to grow. Too little restricts bacterial growth, too much and waste will become soggy,blocking air flow (oxygen).

Adding shredded paper/cardboard will help balance the moisture levels.

Aerobic bacteria need oxygen


Aerobic bacteria need oxygen. Not enough allows anaerobic cousins to take over. This creates a smell, releasing methane (X25 Green House Gas potency).

Adding bulking agent (woodchip) provides sufficient air to flow through the bin.

Compost Bacteria like the heat


Bacteria like the heat and digest waste 32 times faster at 60°c than at 10°c. Heat is generated as a bi-product of the bacteria digesting waste.

However bacteria dont like being too hot and will die off when temperatures exceed 70°c.




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