How to Keep HOTBIN Hot

How to Keep HOTBIN Hot

Occasionally, despite following the set up guidelines (per the instruction manual), some customers struggle to get the HOTBIN up to 40 to 60°c. We appreciate that this can be frustrating and are here to help. We have a lot of composting expertise to call on and are confident in our brand promise that we can get all customers hot composting given they have enough waste.

Take An Internal Temperature Reading

The lid thermometer is good for giving an estimated temperature reading inside the HOTBIN. For an accurate temperature reading, we would always recommend taking an internal temperature reading as the two can differ, especially during winter.

Check the HOTBIN Valve Setting and Keep the Hatch Closed

The HOTBIN valve should be opened only by 2mm, check your setting and ensure that the valve is not closed (restricting airflow) or fully open (losing heat). It is also important to make sure the hatch is firmly closed and the cam straps are on tightly to prevent any heat loss.

HOTBIN Requires Minimum Amount of Waste to Start Heating Up

The HOTBIN will not start heating up until the ‘critical mass’ of material has been achieved and sustained – this is to the height of the hatch or just under half full. If you have only just set up your HOTBIN, please bear this in mind.

Feed HOTBIN Two/Three Times Per Week

The HOTBIN is a hungry beast. Heat is created when bacteria are busy digesting food - think of it like a human - we create heat when we run around, but to run around we need lots of energy (food). Some foods are easier to digest and release energy faster (eg your favourite chocolate bar), other foods are digested slowly and release less heat over a longer period (eg your high fibre cereals). To maintain a hot temperature, you need to feed the HOTBIN the following: • HOTBIN 200l - minimum amount of waste 5 kilos or 10 litres of waste a week • HOTBIN Mini 100l - minimum amount of waste 2.5 kilos or 5 litres of waste a week View our Waste Table PDF which illustrates how easy or hard composting waste is for. You need to mix things up and ensure there is enough easy to digest waste to keep things hot. Without this regular feeding the HOTBIN will cool down

Feed HOTBIN a Good Mix of Waste Types

HOTBIN works best with a mixture of chopped easy and hard to digest waste types – if struggling to keep at 40c, try adding more easy to digest waste types to promote speedy decomposition and heat production – don’t forget to balance this with the correct amounts of shredded paper/cardboard and woodchip to absorb excess moisture and promote good airflow within the unit.

Maintain Airflow and Control Moisture

Airflow: Without the addition of woodchip or woody materials, waste inside the HOTBIN will quickly collapse into a slimy mush and restrict airflow. As an aerobic composter, it is important to maintain the addition of woodchip in the HOTBIN and that this is incorporated in amongst the waste that is added, not layered. If adding in grass, you may also find it useful to break up the matted material a couple of days after adding.

Moisture: Shredded paper/carboard must be added in with every feed to prevent the HOTBIN becoming overly wet and in the worst case, anaerobic. If you suspect that the contents of your HOTBIN are too wet, add in more of these moisture absorbing materials. 

Empty the HOTBIN Every 3-6 Months

Leaving compost in longer that 3-6 months can lead to a dense and compressed layer in the base of the HOTBIN which will restrict airflow to the waste above.

Still Struggling?

  1. Check out the PDF check list , this should help you to quickly trace what’s preventing the HOTBIN getting hot.
  2. Review the ‘How to Get Your HOTBIN Hot’ video.
  3. Get in touch! Send us the following photos to enable us to review your HOTBIN and provide some feedback:
    • Top: lid/valve
    • Front: hatch door panel/lower half of the HOTBIN
    • Side: hatch door panel/joint with walls – left side
    • Side: hatch door panel/joint with walls – right side
    • Inside: top, waste inside
    • Behind door: waste behind the hatch
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