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  • Hi

    I've had my hotbin for nearly 2 years and I think its great. I was struggling to make conventional compost without the space to have the required 3 bins. This takes up about half the space of my old bins and holds a great deal more waste.

    It took me a while to get the hang of how to use it best, but I now have stores of bulking agent and paper, and skips of garden waste. Every day or 2 I mix together a suitable quantity of each, add any kitchen waste I have, and then put it in the bin. At first I was adding it in layers but now I always mix everything up first so that there are no concentrated lumps of the same thing, and this seems to work well.

    The only thing I have not managed to do is keep it going through winter. The first winter I tried really hard, opened the top as little as possible, kept adding something every 2-3 days and added the hot water bottle every time I opened the lid. The temperature hovered stubbornly around 20C and I even fitted an aeration pipe in an attempt to heat it up. It made little difference and sank to the bottom when the bin was emptied. Last winter I had a much more cavalier attitude just feeding the bin when I had something to add and letting it do its thing. It stayed at around 20C all winter. In both cases as soon as spring arrived and I cut the grass, the temperature shot up to about 50C.