Recycling champions

Recycling champions

Recycling Champions are local families and community groups who take part in our recycling trials to help us find new ways to reduce food waste and increase recycling across the District

Hot Bin trial summer 2022

Last summer 15 families and community groups trialled Hot Bins to see how they help minimise their food waste.

A Hot Bin can take cooked food waste (including bones), peelings, pet waste and more 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.

Meet our trial participants and stay up to date with how they're getting on.

A Hot Bin with a Recycling Champions sticker on it

Durrant family

We have enjoyed using the hot bin and getting something useful from our food waste. We tried putting some meat waste into it but found it really attracted flies so stopped that and just stuck to raw and cooked veg waste.

We certainly noticed that we had less general waste than previously.

We found that the waste broke down quickly and even now the bin is only just to the top of the door so it wasn't easy to remove compost. It generated more liquid than I anticipated and needed draining every few days.

We will certainly be continuing to use the bin and keep experimenting to get the right balance of waste to shredded paper/wood chips.

Pictured is the compost produced being used in the garden to help the fruit trees planted to grow.

Fruit trees in compost


We have really enjoyed using the hot bin. It was easy to get going and run. All our food waste has been going into it including bones. My general household bin is less smelly and hasn't attracted as many flies as before and of course it is not so full. I am shocked at how much we have been wasting. I think having emptied it twice that I would not put eggshells into it as they do not decompose, bones on the other hand when well smashed up disappear. I have used the contents for growing seedlings vegetables and flowers and the compost when dried out a bit and sieved is perfect for this.

As far as I am concerned there are no cons to using the hot bin providing that it is placed in an area that is easily accessible. To make it run at a constant hot composting rate it must be regularly fed, and mine is hungry, or it can't go sour quite quickly. I imagine that this could be a bit of a commitment to some but has not been a problem to me as the children have been taking part in the experiment and love opening the bin and experiencing the hot whoosh coming out of it. Also, I had no idea how much shredded paper it would use which is a lot, perhaps it might be an idea to add information about this in the pre-trial information.

A handful of dry compost

Should the bin go cold and smelly there are so many gardeners who are happy to share their experiences on YouTube, the person who I have followed is called The Beanie Composter and his advice is excellent.

We will continue using the hot bin it is an amazing bit of kit and an excellent educational project for interested children, mine have really thrown themselves into it. Anything that transforms cooked kitchen waste into excellent compost is a winner.

With the last emptying we have sown and grown winter cabbage and salad leaves. They germinated superbly and are now ready to transplant into my cold greenhouse.

Thank you so much for allowing us to take part in the trial.

Seedlings in pots on a sunny windowsill

Day family

"I'm always keen to minimise waste but as a small household I didn't think it was possible to compost my limited kitchen waste so when I heard about the Hot Bin trial I was keen to have a go.

"It was easy to use but as a small household with good food management and minimal food waste it was difficult to fill the bin to the necessary height to maintain the temperature.

"All my food waste, peelings, teabags and eggshells went from general waste to the hot bin. On average I reduced my general waste from 2 small bags a month to 1 and only put the bin out once a month.

"I've struggled to fill it enough to maintain the temperature, but I am going to keep going - just need to find more stuff to put in it."

Czaban family

We have found the Hot Bin a great help, it has taken all our organic waste and also most of our neighbourhood's grass cuttings (we don’t have any lawn on our property). The positives are obvious: less waste to landfill, some lovely compost to come and a convenient place to deposit your waste food.  A huge positive was 40 litres of liquid fertiliser that we’ve used all summer and now have in storage for spring and knowing it’s all organic is a real benefit. Only on negative is that the bin still leaches the fertiliser liquid so we have to keep on top of draining it and we’ve only managed to reach temperature once. It gets hot but not hot enough to put in non-organic material.

Our general waste bin has been reduced significantly, it’s never full and 90% of the contents is packaging material (our next project is to reduce this).

We will most certainly continue to use the hot bin, it’s a great way to recycle garden and organic waste and as we have previously had to get rid of our compost because of rats, this bin has given us a greater level of security and thus far we’ve had no problems.

Charman family

"We wanted to take part because we are a family of four and have a fair amount of food waste especially from the children despite best efforts not to. We currently recycle as much as we can and we have also recently re done our garden. We loved the idea that we could minimise our waste and create something to feed our garden off the back of it."

We found it easy to use. In the warmer months the kitchen caddy was creating fruit flies. We have found it very hard to get the bin to temperature and it still isn't.

We definitely noticed a difference on our household waste: it was definitely less and made our main bin less smelly.

The Hot Bin hasn't created any compost yet but it has liquid fertiliser. We will continue through the winter and then see what results we have for the spring summer.

Charman family with their Hot Bin

Wells family

"The Hot Bin seems to be working ok - the top thermometer is never that hot but I can always feel the heat coming off it so is warmer amongst the compost. Having to add bark chip and shredded paper is an added level of faff compared to a normal compost heap which I think would put some people off. It is a useful place to get rid of shredded paper and pizza boxes though! If I didn’t have the greenhouse next to the hot bin to store the wood chip and paper it would be quite annoying though.

"I already composted uncooked fruit and veg waste and we don’t chuck much food so it hasn't made much of a difference to what goes in a bin bag but I do like being able to put other food waste in the hot bin so that has been a real advantage."

"I haven't used any yet but the bin has generated compost: I dug a bit out and it seemed nice and crumbly."

2020 Hot Bin trial testimonials

In 2020 we ran our first phase of the Hot Bin trial with 100L bins for 5 families. Read how they got on throughout their trial.