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Bin filling up fast - can I mix and match with Dalek bins

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  • Bin filling up fast - can I mix and match with Dalek bins

    I bought a big Hotbin in November. It is now lovely and hot, but we generate a lot of food waste and it is filling up v fast, and that's before I start adding garden waste or grass clippings as we come into spring. I've already had to take stuff out of it at the bottom but wife is not best pleased as it is still pretty sticky and not v nice to look at. I have a big green Dalek bin. So the question is: if I take semi-composted stuff out of the bottom of the hotbin and stick it in the Dalek, will it keep composting and get to nice dry compost? Or will I just find I have a whole Dalek full of the sticky stuff?

  • #2
    Originally posted by DanielAlex View Post
    I bought a big Hotbin in November. It is now lovely and hot, but we generate a lot of food waste and it is filling up v fast, and that's before I start adding garden waste or grass clippings as we come into spring. I've already had to take stuff out of it at the bottom but wife is not best pleased as it is still pretty sticky and not v nice to look at. I have a big green Dalek bin. So the question is: if I take semi-composted stuff out of the bottom of the hotbin and stick it in the Dalek, will it keep composting and get to nice dry compost? Or will I just find I have a whole Dalek full of the sticky stuff?
    It should continue to break down, albeit at a much slower rate. Is it semi-composted i.e. you can still see lots of identifiable food waste or is it finished i.e. its black, sticky and wet with a clay like consistency if you squeeze it into a ball? I operate my Hotbin all year round and the layer at the bottom is always wet and sticky (leachate from above and rainwater getting in) regardless if its finished or not. If your Dalek is in contact with the ground, it should help absorb excess moisture. All my compost goes into a Dalek to cure and dry out and eventually it can be put through a sieve. The end product is worth the extra effort.

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    • DanielAlex
      DanielAlex
      Junior Member
      DanielAlex commented
      Editing a comment
      I would say it's maybe a bit further than semi-composted - it's mainly just goo of different colours, some darker, some lighter, and yes, it is clay-like in its stickiness (another issue is I get phenomenal volumes of leachate, but I think that's because the bin is mostly getting food waste and cardboard). Yes the Dalek is contact with the ground, so I'm going to try putting your stuff in there. How long does it take to dry out and break down properly in the Dalek roughly?

  • #3
    It could take several weeks to fully break down depending on how cold it gets at night. Its hard to say how long it might take to dry out, but mine only takes a few weeks. I have my Dalek under a large cherry tree and in the summer its sheltered from the rain and the ground is always bone dry.

    Kitchen waste is great, but it does contain a lot of moisture. There is only so much cardboard you can add, as it doesn't break down as quick as other things. You could try and find some additional dry brown material that might break down easier. Last week I deadheaded my hydrangea and ripped all the dried dried sweat pea vines out of my hedge and ran the lawnmower over them. When I mixed them into the Hotbin, the temperature went from 40 degrees to 70 degrees overnight. Also, make sure your bulking agent isn't too wet, you want it to absorb some of that excess moisture, not add to the problem.

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