The hotbin composter – so how are we getting on?

It’s been a while since I dropped the bombshell of our new garden gadget and ran but to be honest I didn’t really think I had anything to share as it just sits at the back of the garden and eats our kitchen waste. A bit of youtube surfing today, however, made me realise I do have some bits and pieces to share about the experience that might be useful to some folk and of interest to others, so here is our update.

We set it up back in November, with very little info about it other than recommendations from folk we trust. So diligently I dug out the old compost bin and shared the compost between all the beds and made way for the new bin with its smaller footprint. This turned out to have been a bit of a mistake, to really get the bin going it needs to be about half full, so the recommendation is to add some of the old pile into it to start it off. Oops.

The first mistake, ah well it was done so we had to run with it and we have just been working to build up the amount in the bin gradually, with the little kitchen waste we have. I feel slightly virtuous here because the one thing it has made me realise is how little we waste.  We’re even struggling to have enough paper to shred to add to it to keep the balance as we’re pretty much a paperless household. This has become quite apparent recently as the bin starts to fill up, the mix in there is too wet so we are going to have to come up with a plan to get some more “brown” in there, maybe need to go scouting around work for old newspapers.

So what has all that meant? Well, to be honest, the bin is still doing it’s thing, just not as quickly. It’s sitting at a pretty constant 20 degrees, not quite the 40 – 60 it should be hitting but I’m pretty confident as the amount in the bin increases and the dead air space decreases that the temperature will increase. Also, I’m hoping if we manage to balance out the wet and dry that this will help.

So any plus or negative points I want to raise? Well to be honestly, mostly plus. It looks better than the old open bin, neater and it’s a heck of a lot easier to manage. One downside though is its height. I actually struggle to mix it because I just can’t reach. The bin is about the height of a standard UK wheely bin and I’m only 5ft tall, so I can’t reach down to the bottom section to mix. Apart from that, nope no complaints. We just have to wait and see how it goes.

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