How do I remove and replace the hatch on my HOTBIN?

6 January 2012  |  HOTBIN Composting

Removing and replacing the HOTBIN hatch

It is straight forward, but can cause frustration if you have not seen the simple technique. We have explained how in simple steps below and have created a short (2 minute) video to help.

Removing the hatch:

Open one side at a time. Place your thumb into the grip gap against the wall, then place fingers opposing into door. Now push the thumb and fingers apart – the hatch will pop off.

Do not attempt to lever the hatch into place using a spade or trowel or any other object. You will damage the door or the walls.

We advise you do not take the hatch off until the HOTBIN is at least half full - there are two reasons:

  1. The weight in the HOTBIN makes it more stable and significantly easier to remove and re-attach.
  2. If the HOTBIN only has new waste in, it will pour out of the hatch and there will be considerable waste to clear up. When the first compost is ready (60-90 days), you will find the compost sticks and holds largely in place when the hatch is removed.

Removing waste:

Rake out your rich compost. Many will be tempted to use a fork to reach the back. We stress this is unwise and needs extreme care - if you dig or slam a sharp implement like a fork into the hatch, walls or base, it will damage the unit. Do not 'dig' or 'thrust' a fork or like into the HOTBIN. If you have followed the recipe - you will probably be pleasantly surprised - your compost will be sticky, but fairly small lumps/fines that are quite easy to remove without any 'forking' needed to remove it.

Replacing the hatch:

First clean all compost from around the edge of the panel and the door area. The hatch will not fit flush if waste is blocking it. We appreciate this is a pain and a little fiddly, but you will probably only do it 4 times a year!

Please note that there is a 'right way' and 'wrong way' up for the hatch - the top and bottom edges are different. Ensure the HOTBIN logo is going to readable (ie right way up) when back in place.

To reattach the hatch, you have to align it square on. Gently ease it back 10-15mm at a time until all the lugs start to engage. It should now be only 10mm proud at the front. Push hard at the top to engage the top lugs - they pop in. Now push hard at the bottom to engage the bottom lugs. (You might have noticed the bottom of the panel has a sloping edge – this allows the bottom edge to get firmed into place second, after the top. With the top and bottom lugs engaged, push back via the hand grip area. You will probably find it's still not quite flush - with palm of your hand, firmly push each corner in turn (refer to the video below if you are unsure).

Now attach the two cam belts to secure the hatch and ensure it always stays tightly closed. All HOTBINs have been supplied with two cam belt straps since 2012. These polyester webbing straps with a corrosion proof metal grip are used to secure the door tightly in place. A video demonstration and short description on use can be found by following this link on cam belt use.

Job done!

If the hatch does not fit and align - repeat the steps above and double check there is no waste in the joint around the edge!!