Kevin Dowding - The Roots & Shoots Team

Roots and Shoots at Alnwick Gardens

“The HOTBIN is markedly faster and makes better compost than the dalek compost bins and definitely much improved on the pallet bins.  Having used the HOTBIN for coming up on one year I have had compost out of it on three occasions so far and the compost has been of high quality with no resulting weed growth where applied.  I’ve used it as an educational tool with visiting schools so they have seen the composting in action and hopefully have taken on board the messages and importance of good composting and garden waste recycling.

My initial worries concerned the fragility of the polypropylene walls of the composter when I was mixing or turning the layers.  I appreciate this is not often required but old habits die hard and the temptation to mix more rotted down middle layers of the bin with freshly loaded top layers and added layers of activator or more woody material is inevitably there.  The agitator provided is much appreciated, though I have caught some of my staff laying in to the bin with a spade in order to mix layers which I very quickly stopped. When it got fuller the door at the bottom proved difficult to stay on but the straps supplied certainly cured that problem.

The mixing is so much easier and quicker in comparison to the daleks and especially the pallet composters.  Volumes needing mixed are so much smaller and the quality and lightness of the medium so much better in the HOTBIN that an awful lot of the sweat and backache of the chore has been removed.

Though it hasn’t been a hot summer the HOTBIN has maintained a considerably higher than ambient air temperature operating temperature and a considerable quantity of good quality, light, weed-free compost has been harvested from it on three separate occasions this season.  Overall I have been impressed with the output and time taken so the HOTBIN has proved a low-maintenance and successful addition to our allotments.”

Read more about the Roots and Shoots garden at Alnwick


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