My HOTBIN is NOT getting HOT?

Friday, 23 March 2012  |  HOTBIN Composting

Getting up to temperature

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.

Some customers want to learn the detail, others prefer a simple set of actions to sort things out. We hope we have the balance correct for each.

The answers below work for hot composting in the HOTBIN. The advice might not match your past composting experience.

Please stick with us – the answers are based on the natural science governing hot composting. Once grasped, you will find the HOTBIN easy to use for ever.

Taking the HOTBIN's Temperature

If you have purchased the HOTBIN Extra, you should have an additional thermometer which can be used to read the internal temperature of the top layer of waste. When taking the temperature of the HOTBIN, your main concern is the internal temperature which should be around the 40 to 60°c mark. The temperature gauge in the lid normally reads around 10°c cooler. So if the lid is reading 35°c the heap inside is around 45°c and you're HOT composting efficiently.

If you purchased the HOTBIN without Extras, then don’t panic - you can use the back of your hand to gauge the internal temperature. If the temperature of the waste feels similar to shower water temperature, then the waste is composting at around 30°C. When the waste temperature feels similar to that of a running hot tap, the HOTBINs internal temperature is around 50°C.

 

Turning up the Heat Check List

Here are the steps that will fix 90% of all issues:

  • Fill waste above door height
  • Stir in 8 hands full (half a carrier bag) of shredded paper (or cardboard) into the top waste
  • Stir in 6 hands full of bulking agent to the top layer of waste
  • If the base layer behind the door smells putrid or sour, or you have lots of leachate (brown water) coming out of the base, mix in 1 carrier bag full of paper and half a bag of bulking agent into the base layer. (It is usually easier to do this by taking the base layer out, mixing and then adding it back in.
  • Check door on tight - use the cam belts
  • Shut the lid, check the valve is set at 2mm open
  • Add more waste, shredded paper and bulking agent every 3-4 days

If you want to understand the detail for this list, view the Getting to 60°c Check List

If you have made all the 'getting to 60°c' checks and still have lots of leachate (brown water) and a putrid odour, please also read the post "waste too wet for hot composting" .

It should take no-more than 7-10 days to get your HOTBIN hot. If you have not managed to get there, please contact us. We will ask you for a few lines of detail on the waste and 6 photos of the HOTBIN and waste within. From here we will advise you on next steps.