Do I Have Enough Waste For a HOTBIN?

Sunday, 19 August 2012  |  HOTBIN Composting

Will I have enough waste to keep the HOTBIN hot composting?

The HOTBIN composts aerobically and at temperatures between 40-60°C hot composting is 32 times faster than traditional cold composting. Hot composting also allows you to compost a wider variety of waste such as cooked food, bones and weeds as at these higher temperatures pathogens and weeds seeds are destroyed.

How can you achieve hot composting temperatures?

To maintain temperatures of 40-60°C you will need to feed the HOTBIN a minimum amount of waste each week.

Approximately 5kg (10 litres) of waste, that’s one large or 2 small kitchen caddies per week. This volume can be made up from both kitchen and garden waste. The better the mix of waste the more effectively the HOTBIN will work.

What happens if I have less waste?

The HOTBIN will only stay hot (between 40-60°c) with regular feeding of the minimum amount of waste.

If you have less waste, you may still be able to use the HOTBIN; however it will operate at a lower temperature meaning that the waste will take longer to breakdown and you will be unable to compost certain wastes (cooked food, weeds, bones etc) as there will not be enough heat in the bin to destroy the pathogens in these types of waste.

Does it matter if the temperature falls below 40°C?

The temperature will always fluctuate, however if you can aim to keep anywhere between the 40-60°C then the HOTBIN will work most effectively.

There will be occasions where the temperature will drop lower than 40°C, for instance when you go on holiday. Follow our guidelines on how to deal with your bin before and after your holiday here.

How much food and waste does a typical household produce?

Every household is different in terms of the food and garden waste they produce. In the table below we use a simple scale of small, medium or large to act as a guide.

 

  Small Medium Large
Household Size

1-2 people
1 small caddy, about 2.5kg
(5 litres)of food waste per week

3-5 People
2 small caddies, about 5kg
(10 litres) of food waste a week
5-10 people
1 large caddy 5 kg (15-30 litres)
of food waste every 2 days.

Garden Size

 

Grass (Lawn)

None or very small.

 

Less than two boxes per week

Medium garden generating cuttings, pruning’s and leaves etc.
A clear up generates a wheel barrow load.

2-4 boxes of grass a week

Large garden generating cutting, pruning’s, many autumn leaves, enough tree/woody plants to possibly warrant a shredder. A clear up fills 1m3 pallet type bin.

More than 4 boxes of grass a week

Current ‘cold’ compost use Not enough waste to fill 1 plastic cone composter. Need at least 2-3 plastic cone composters which always seem full. Probably 2-3 large (1m3/each) pallet/compost heaps.
HOTBIN Units You are unlikely to have enough waste to keep the HOTBIN hot. You will still be able to compost quicker with the HOTBIN than in a traditional cold composter, but you may struggle to maintain constant hot composting temperatures.

Likely to need 1 HOTBIN.

The HOTBIN is designed for a medium household (3-5) people with a small to medium sized garden.
Likely to need 2 HOTBINs to cope with the large volume of waste.

 

If you are unsure how much waste you generate in volume terms it may help to know that the average 4 person household with a medium garden generates roughly 250kg of food waste and 300-400kg of green garden waste per year. This equals approximately 500-1000 litres of waste in total per year.

Tip: If you are looking to compost both kitchen and garden waste in the HOTBIN we would advise measuring the volume of kitchen waste rather than your ‘garden waste’ volumes. During winter most people have less garden waste and so you will need the volume of kitchen waste to keep the HOTBIN running at hot composting temperatures.