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Managing fresh material

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  • Managing fresh material

    I have a HotBin mini and, after a few false starts, I am successfully keeping the right temperature (mostly 50-60 deg)

    We are now getting a lot of cuttings from the garden, much of which is very fibrous and will take longer to decompose - but with the high temperature (and adding some grass) this is not really a problem. But I now have a lot of cuttings which I have chopped up into small pieces but do not have enough space in the HotBin to use straight away.

    What is the best way to store cuttings and other materials before they can be put in the hot bin?

    We are a family of two and only produce a small amount of household food waste but with the grass and other garden material we have more than enough to put in the HotBin at the moment.

    So far I am storing it in a large plastic tub with a lid. In the warm weather there is a lot of moisture inside the tub. I’m dealing with this by adding some chopped up cardboard into the mix. I hope this means that I will need to add less extra shredded paper when it goes into the HotBin.

    Is there any limit to the time I can keep these cuttings, etc, in storage before using? Will it lose its nutritional value? Is there a better way?

    As the HotBin is more than 3/4 full, I can only add a small amount of material at a time. Which means that my “waiting pile” is getting larger and larger.

    I guess this is a nice problem to have!

    Any thoughts appreciated.

  • #2
    I had a very similar difficulty. I stored material awaiting composting for my Mini HotBin. I found that once the cooler weather arrived in England, the temperatures that I was achieving in my Mini dropped and composting slowed to a crawl. As a result, my queued stock increased and at the same time lost its freshness. So it was less favourable for creating high temperatures in the Mini.

    I decided that as Autumn and Winter were not favourable periods for HotBin composting, I bought a regular HotBin to supplement my Mini. I figured that the larger capacity may mean that it will generate temperature and hold it more readily than the Mini in the cool seasons. In the one Winter that I have used the regular HotBin I have found this to be the case, although composting rate in the Regular HotBin also slows down.


    • #3
      I store my excess material in a standard cold compost bin. I find putting it in sealed plastic containers can make it go mouldy (not that it stops you composting it) a lot quicker. If the material doesn't get used it just cold composts and gives me some additional compost the next year.