5 Waste Types That Are Not a Base Layer
Here is an overview of 5 items which will not on their own (or only the five of them together) make up a good base layer.
1. Bulking Agent
Bulking agent has little nutritional value for the bacteria, so please do not add in the whole bag as a “starter”. Bulking agent needs to be added in alongside other waste types in the correct ratios to provide airflow through the HOTBIN.
2. Material From an Existing Compost Heap/Bin
Although a small handful of old compost added with fresh waste is useful to inoculate the material in the HOTBIN (give bacteria a kick-start), too much provides no benefit as this material is already largely composted and has already lost most of it’s nutritional value for bacteria.
If desired, a sprinkling of twigs, scattering can be added to the very base of the HOTBIN when you start to aid aeration; fresh waste with the correct ratios of paper and bulking agent should then be added on top. The base layer should not consist solely of twiggy material.
Traditionally hard to break down, leaves have a protective waxy outer coating which bacteria need to break through first. Adding a large volume of leaves into the HOTBIN will take a while for bacteria to digest, so if adding please shred first and add with lots of other easy to digest waste types.
5. Shredded Paper/Cardboard
Do not add in a large volume of paper/cardboard when creating your base layer as they offer no nutritional value. Instead mix this in with waste in the correct ratios top balance moisture, taking care not to create layers to ensure good air flow.