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Will Hotbin work in shade?

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  • Will Hotbin work in shade?

    My main reason for considering the purchase of a Hotbin is that after building a greenhouse the only place I can put composting bins is in shade under large trees. I am finding that `cold' composting is no longer working in that situation. Will a Hotbin work if it is sited in full shade?

  • #2
    Hi JoW. The HOTBIN will work in full shade. As the HOTBIN's internal heat is created by bacterial decomposition inside the unit rather than being created externally, the HOTBIN will work in any location. The only recommendation is that the HOTBIN is placed on a relatively flat surface. I hope that helps.


    • #3
      Thanks a lot for your reply. I thought that was the case but wanted to make sure before I bought.


      • #4
        Pleased to help. If you have any other questions, pop them on the forum and I'm sure that the HOTBIN community can answer them for you.


        • #5
          I'm trying to work out the difference between the bulking agent (either provided from hotbin or by using wood chips etc) and shredded cardboard, would someone be able to help please?

          I'd like to buy a hotbin and am imagining using only waste envelopes, cardboard and egg boxes etc as the aerator, putting some in each time I added food/garden clippings - would that work, or would I still need to use some form of wood chippings as well?


          • #6
            Hi Forester,

            Thank you for your question.

            In order for the HOTBIN to work optimally at hot composting temperatures of 40-60°C, the HOTBIN Team strongly recommends adding both a form of bulking agent (either wood chips, bark or hard prunings) and shredded paper/torn corrugated cardboard into the unit each time fresh waste is added. The reason for advising the addition of both is that the materials perform different but vital roles within the unit and cannot be interchanged or substituted.

            Shredded paper and torn corrugated cardboard: rebalances the HOTBIN’s internal moisture content. As materials decompose, water is removed from the decomposing cells. The majority of this moisture leaves the HOTBIN as water vapour through the HOTBIN’s valve when the HOTBIN is operating at hot composting temperatures of 40-60°C. The remainder of the moisture not evaporated is then absorbed by the added shredded paper and/or torn corrugated cardboard which helps to prevent the HOTBIN’s contents from becoming overly wet and restricting airflow.

            Bulking agent: used to help aerate the HOTBIN’s contents. We recommend using either partially composted woodchip (which is available on our website), garden centre bought bark chippings or a homemade version using chopped twiggy material from the garden. When adding the bulking agent, we advise incorporating it well with the other fresh waste as the structure of the twiggy material (i.e. the dimensions of the pieces) creates air pockets through the material, ensuring that airflow is maintained.

            Unfortunately if one material is used interchangeably as both a bulking agent and moisture rebalancing tool, airflow within the unit will likely become restricted causing the HOTBIN’s contents to turn anaerobic and may result in the HOTBIN beginning to omit a putrid odour. Furthermore, we strongly advise against adding any scrunched or screwed up paper into the unit as it can cause difficulties with the internal aeration when they come into contact with moisture and are compressed which are challenging and messy to resolve.

            We hope this helps.

            If you have any other questions, please post them and together, the HOTBIN community should be able to help answer them for you.