Health & Safety

Composting is a natural biochemical process involving bacteria and fungi. Humans have been composting safely for thousands of years, however we do suggest you always adhere to the following health and safety guidelines.

  • Always wear gloves and cover cuts.
  • Wash hands after handling waste/compost.
  • If you suffer from asthma, related respiratory conditions or a compromised immune system, take specific precautions to avoid inhalation of dusts (e.g. wear a dust mask).

In the Kitchen

  • Do not leave a kitchen caddy, pair of gloves or any other composting equipment on or near food preparation surfaces.
  • Fly larvae (maggots) will not be able to survive at hot composting temperatures of 40-60°C. In order to prevent flies from laying eggs in your kitchen caddy, keep the lid closed.

Using Your HOTBIN

  • Chopping and shredding waste into pieces smaller than 4cm will help to increase the speed at which waste composts. Please take care when using secateurs, shredders and other tools to chop and shred waste.
  • Your HOTBIN gets HOT. Take care when opening the lid as very hot steam will escape when composting at temperatures of 40-60°C (very hot tap water). Although not a scalding risk to most people, we advise wearing gloves as a precaution and we advise against immersing bare hands into the waste.
  • Take care when filling the kick start bottle, wear gloves and handle with care. This bottle is specifically designed to hold boiling water – DO NOT substitute with any other plastic/glass bottle as this may result in injury.
    Please refer to label HOTBIN Kick Start Bottle for full usage instructions.

Hot Composting

Certain types of waste should only be added to the HOTBIN when it is at hot composting temperatures of 40-60°c:

  • Cooked Food Waste (plate scrapings)
  • Meat & Fish (including skins)
  • Leftovers (including pet food)
  • Pasta & Rice
  • Mouldy Bread & Cakes
  • Diseased Plant Material & Weeds
  • Used Cat Litter
  • Pet Bedding & Waste
  • Bones

Using Liquid Fertiliser and Compost

  • Do not use the liquid fertiliser (leachate) if there is a putrid smell or if you are draining it from an anaerobic HOTBIN.
  • Water the soil around plants, avoid wetting or spraying any foliage
  • Always dilute liquid fertiliser (leachate) at a ratio of 1:10 (1 part liquid fertiliser (leachate) to 10 parts water)
  • When using any compost, fertiliser and or leachate to feed your veggies, fruit or salad it is recommend that you don’t eat those items straight away, leave it a minimum of 20 days to allow microbial organisms in the soil to consume it.
  • Always thoroughly wash edible items that you feed with compost, fertiliser and or leachate, especially uncooked items.
  • Once collected ensure the liquid fertiliser (leachate) is used within a 2-week period
  • When draining we always recommend wearing gloves.


For more information on composting these types of waste visit our help & support section.

Due to a variance between the lid thermometer reading and the internal temperature, the internal temperature should be verified with an additional thermometer placed in the top 5cm of waste. If you do not have an additional thermometer you can buy one from us here.

The guidance on this site is provided for domestic composting only. There are specific rules and regulations for industrial composting. For more information you can refer to the Defra site, animal by-products regulations (ABPR).

10 August 2022  |  HOTBIN Composting

Do you think your HOTBIN is getting too hot? We cover hot HOTBINs and questions surrounding compost combustion.

6 February 2014  |  HOTBIN Composting

DDT is banned in most countries as a pesticide. It is unlikely that you have DDT/dioxins in concerning levels in your waste.

23 April 2013  |  HOTBIN Composting

There is a low risk associated with pathogens and composting in general as long as you follow the usual garden hygiene rules of wearing gloves and washing your hands after attending your compost heap.