How Much Waste can HOTBIN Compost?

Tuesday, 9 January 2018  |  HOTBIN Composting

How Much Waste can HOTBIN Compost?

Very simply the speed at which compost is produce will determine how much waste can be composted.

The speed at which composting happens increases with temperature and as a rule it doubles for every extra 10°c increase. The HOTBIN consists of 3 layers a hot top layer (40-60°C), a warmer middle layer (20-40°C) and a cool base layer (10-20°C) and at its hottest layer the HOTBIN composts 32 times faster than cold composting.

 

 

Bacteria digest waste 32 times faster at 60°c
than at 10°c.

As a rule of thumb, if compost takes 18
months in a cold heap at 10°c it will take
18 days in a HOTBIN running at 60°c.

Useful Fact: Bacteria start to die off when
temperatures exceed 70°c.

 


With a 200 litre internal capacity HOTBIN typically has 4-6 times the throughput of a cold compost bin. A typical plastic cone composter is 300 litres and one HOTBIN will easily replace two and in some cases three of these systems. 

Wooden pallet frames 1x1x1m) tend to have roughly a 1,000 litre capacity and one HOTBIN will replace one pallet box. If you regularly have two full boxes - it is likely you collect a lot of garden waste in big steps (e.g. grass, autumn leaves). We have customers who use the HOTBIN for a fast step and retain the other pallet box as a maturing bin for the compost removed from the HOTBIN.

On average the HOTBIN should be emptied every 3 months producing approximately 60 litres (3-4 wheelbarrows) of compost each time. To calculate this figure some assumptions have been made and you can read more in how much compost does the HOTBIN produce.

Maximum Amount of Waste You Can Put in the HOTBIN?

The maximum that can be added is 20kg (40 litres) of waste a week. This equates to roughly 5kg (10 litres) of waste being added every other day.

In detail any waste added to the HOTBIN will be at ambient temperature (20°C) and is cold compared to the waste already in the bin. When this waste is added initially the combined temperature of the old and new waste falls, and as the bacteria digest the waste the temperature rises. However if another load of waste is added before the previous lot has reheated the temperature of the waste will fall further and it will appear as if the bin has stalled.

Minimum Waste Required

The HOTBIN does need to be fed with fresh waste every week. You need to add at least 5kg of waste per week (roughly one medium 9 litre caddy or 2 small 5 litre caddies) to maintain 60°c. If you are concerned you may not have enough waste as a guide a typical 4-person household will generate 3-5kg of food waste a week. You can read more on how much waste households produce here.

Adding waste to the HOTBIN and leaving it to breakdown without adding any additional waste every week will not achieve or maintain the hot composting temperatures.