Hot Bin trial
Our first recycling champions project is a Hot Bin trial.
A Hot Bin can take anything from cooked food waste (including bones) to peelings and turn it into rich compost in 30 – 90 days by heating the waste up to 60°C. The result is a nutrient-rich compost for your garden for minimal effort and reduced food waste in your rubbish bin.
We've given seven Horsham District families a Hot Bin and a food waste caddy each for the kitchen. The families will weigh the food waste they put into the Hot Bin and provide feedback each month. We're looking forward to seeing how they get on! Meet some of our families below.
Our first recycling champion is Amanda, who lives in Horsham with her family. Amanda signed up to trial a Hot Bin organic composter for six months and will keep us updated on their progress.
In her September video, Amanda tells us more about using the caddy for her family of four, and shows us:
- What other materials you can add to the caddy, alongside food waste
- How to check the Hot Bin's temperature
- How to add your full food caddy contents to the Hot Bin
- How to identify the base level line, and what it means
"We’re relatively new to the composting scene and are really excited to reap the benefits of a hot bin and all that it can do! We decided to take part in the trial as we’re always keen to try out new things and were wanting to more readily compost our cooked foods."
"It’s been holding at 70F, even covered in snow!
We have been surprised by how much weight we have added to the hot bin in just one month. We just put our refuse bin out for collection last night only to find that in two weeks we haven’t even put one bag in, such is the ability to recycle and compost now!
We have also been really enjoying the liquid gold coming out of the hot bin. Every week we get a good 1-2l of pure fertiliser pouring out from the tap, which we use to feed all the plants and trees beginning to show signs of life as we head towards spring."
"It is going really well, although we added a number of twigs in clearing up the garden and the temperature really dropped after that. So we cut them all up a little smaller and added the hot water bottle and it restarted within 24 hours.
"Be sure to cut up any twigs into smaller 5-10cm sections to ensure the bin remains hot and allow the compost to break it down more easily. We added twigs that were too big, but on realising that, we cut them up adding the hot water bottle and things were back up to speed in no time!"
"We are keen to take part in the hot bin trial to reduce the amount of waste we need to put into our general waste bin. We have a digester in the garden but throughout the winter we cannot use it. We hope with the hot bin to be able to put our food waste in it all year round."
Barber Bacon family
"We decided to take part in the hot bin trial to help reduce the amount of waste created by our family of four going to landfill and for the opportunity to use our kitchen waste to produce our own compost to improve the soil structure for our future vegetable growing."
We are almost at the level where we can use the kick start bottle to help reach optimum composting temperature.
My best tip so far: make the items going into the hotbin small. I think cutting items to about 4cm pieces is recommended and have found doing this has greatly increased the speed in which the food items are composting.
"I signed up for the trial as it’s completely up my street as I try my best not to create waste, recycling and composting where possible. It really caught my eye as you can compost quite a few things that you can’t put in a wormery, such as waste meat and fish off cuts. We eat a lot of veg and my wormery is getting quite full with peelings."
"I was concerned about the amount of paper that needed to go in at first, but we actually have loads. None goes in the recycling anymore. We’re gradually raising the temperature - battling the cold outdoor temperatures!"
"We decided to have a go at the hotbin trial as we have a couple of normal compost bins, and it looked as though the hotbin would work better and the compost could benefit the ground quicker. If this does prove to be correct, we will have improved soil to have better returns from what we plant - maybe a shorter time from plant to harvest? We will see."